Parks, Gardens, and Squares, Paris
Square René Viviani adjoins the Church of Saint Julien the Poor, a Greek Catholic parish church that is one of the oldest religious buildings in Paris.
The square is an irregular shape, bounded by the Rue Galande and church buildings to the south, the Rue Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre on the west, the Quai de Montebello to the north and by the Rue Lagrange and the Rue du Fouarre on the eastern side.
I loved the very pretty garden located in a great position. Why? Because if you sit on one of the benches here, you have one of the best views of Cathedral of Notre Dame in all of Paris.
The inside of the square is lawned, has walkways, lovely trees and Roses and plenty of park benches. In 1995, erected in the the very centre of the square, was the odd-looking St. Julien fountain. The design represents the legend of St. Julien the Hospitaller, involving a curse by witches, a talking deer, a case of mistaken identity, an horrific crime, several improbable coincidences, and a supernatural intervention. The story was told and retold during the Middle Ages, and it became a favourite although it's believed to be just that - A TALE!
Even so, hospitals, hospices, and churches all over Europe adopted Julien as their patron. He was also a patron saint of hunters, innkeepers, and ferrymen; traveling pilgrims often prayed for his help in finding comfortable lodgings.
In the square, there are odd pieces of carved stone that were salvaged from the architectural rubble from the Cathedral of Notre Dame, when some of it was partially destroyed in the 19th century.
The square is noted for being the site of the oldest planted tree in Paris. The robinia pseudoacacia, (locust tree), is believed to have been planted by its namesake, Jean Robin (1550–1620).
Wow! This was a big surprise considering the fact we just wanted a park away from the center and Buttes-Chaumont in NE of Paris (19th arrondissement) turned out as a great choice. First of all it’s not boring, it’s big enough (firth largest in Paris) to walk around with several paths (2,2km long) and roads (5,5km long), hills to walk up and down, an artificial lake, restaurant and cafés, even caves and waterfalls!
We got inside from the gate in front of Buttes-Chaumont metro station and first walked towards the view point on top of the hill that overlooks the lake, the area was full of green on the way with several different trees and hopefully no other people around, we crossed the bridge (pic 1) and walked up some steps that lead to the monument that stands on the edge of the central hill (pic 2) 50 meters above the lake. There are some benches there where you can relax for a while (we drunk a lovely red French wine) took some pictures of the monument (pic 3) and many more of the view, you can see the lake and part of Paris from up there (pic 4).
It was time to read about this park, it opened in 1867 on a bleak -almost bare of vegetation- hill just outside of 19th century Paris that was used before as a place for cutting up horse carcasses and as a depository for sewage while not far from the site was Gibbet of Montfaucon where they hanged the bad guys…. It’s amazing to read about all these in such a beautiful park we see on the same spot today!
It was designed by Jean-Charles Alphand that created many parks that period for emperor Napoleon III. They brought countless cubic meters of topsoil creating artificial hills, they used explosives for the former gypsum quarry to created the different hills, shaped the lawns, thousands of trees were added etc The monument in front of us is Temple de la Sibylle which is a miniature model of the roman temple of Vesta from early 1st century BC in Tivoli (Italy).
Then we walked down and walked around the lake, checked some birds and then following a water sound we ended up on a cave that has a waterfall!!! (pic 5) while later we saw several green lawns occupied by people that were lying under the sun. There are lots of different flowers and plants, small labels will reveal their names in case you are interested about them.
This is one of those parks amongst so many nice ones in Paris that is often overlook. However, it is a grand park full of chic history, and one where ,well the only park I have ever ridden a bicycle in Paris lol! Amongst friends.
The official address is at 35 boulevard Courcelles ,and you can come in thru the boulevard de Courcelles, avenue Vélasquez, avenue Van Dyck, or avenue Ruysdael
It is a free park and usually open from 7h to 20h ,depend on the season and if school out or not the hours can change a bit.
The easiest to get here is to walk of course, but I have rented the vélib here and rode Inside a bit too
then you have the metro Monceau , line 2; the Velib station nearest are at N° 17018, 4 rue de thann
Station N° 8036, 39 rue de lisbonne, and Station N° 8044, 2 rue alfred de vigny
Some history of it
In 1769, the Duke of Chartres, acquired land on which he built the "Folie de Chartres" surrounded by a garden "à la française". Building were done or left partially Inside such as ruins of a temple of Mars, and a Gothic Castle, minaret, Dutch mill, Egyptian pyramid, Chinese pagoda, tartar tent, as many small whimsical buildings that made the garden famous. Rivers were dug, as well as the famous Naumachia, a basin surrounded by Corinthian columns (in Roman antiquity there was a basin where took place of the representations of naval battles), inspiration from the Valois of the Saint-Denis Basilica. Parc Monceau was amputated in 1787, at the time of the construction of the wall of the farmers-General. A rotunda to columns, said the "Pavilion of Chartres", which should serve as a sentry post, was built by Ledoux, on the edge of the current boulevard de Courcelles. Part of the Pavilion, which can still be seen, was converted into a lounge by the Duke of Chartres, on the first floor, from which he could admire a breathtaking view on the plain of the Parc Monceau. In 1793, a greenhouse, a winter garden, as well as of new aisles arose under the leadership of Thomas Blaikie, author of the wonderful park of Bagatelle, that transformed the Monceau Park in English garden.
Become national property during the French Revolution, it returned to the Orléans family, but he didn't last long in their hands. The State acquired in 1852. Then change a lot ,started by Pereire a financier who built many mansions along the East, South and West, including Museum Cernuschi (Asian art) and Nissim de Camondo (18th century). Therefore the park was reduced by half. Rénovations were done by baron Haussmann. In 1861, Napoleon III was finally able to inaugurate the Parc Monceau that we are currently enjoying.
The Parc Monceau is one of the most beautiful gardens of Paris indeed frequented by mothers of families and their children, a few tourists and the Russian community who went to the Cathedral Orthodox Alexandre Nevsky (1861) nearby. And of course a few local bikers !!!
You will enjoy a beltway of plants , luxury buildings and lavish mansions. You will discover many statues (monument to Gounod - 1897 - and Musset - 1906 - by Antonin Mercier, to Chopin by Jacques Froment Meurice-1906-, Ambroise Thomas by Alexandre Falguière-1902-, Guy de Maupassant by Raoul Verlet-1897-, to Edouard Pailleron by Léopold Bernstam - 1906)-, and, among the sights, an arcade Renaissance of the Paris Hôtel de Ville which burned down during the Commune.
The Parc Monceau is home to spectacular trees including a Sycamore at twisted branches, which is the oldest (1853), the largest (4, 18 m) and above the Borough (30 m). His impressive girth rivals however difficult the oldest plane tree of the East (1814), which reaches 7 meters.
A parc for Paris.
In the far northeast corner of Paris is the Parc de la Villette, a 55 hectare park with 35 hectares of lawns and gardens, on the site of the former slaughterhouses of la Villette. They say this is now the largest green space in Paris, and also "a laboratory of cultural democratization where art and society hold a dialogue."
Two major museums, one for science and one for music, are embedded in the park, and there are also two theaters, the Zenith concert hall, two cabarets, a pony club and an organization called G.E.R.M., which has nothing to do with germs but is devoted to the study of “Globalisations”, by which they mean "all cultural, social, economic and political processes which are circulated at world scale, despite national, geographic, technological and linguistic barriers." (As opposed to the more commonly used singular form "globalisation", which they say merely takes the economic side into account.)
And this park is now a real pleasure to cycle to since the new bike lanes and bus-bike lanes have been built along the busiest parts of the Avenue Jean Jaurès.
Second photo: Relaxing on one of the many lawns at Parc La Villette
Third photo: The Grande Halle was built in the 19th century and in 1985 was turned into an all-purpose space for exhibitions and trade fairs. It is currently being renovated and will re-open later in 2006.
Fourth photo: The information center and ticket office at the south entrance to the park, of Avenue Jean Jaurès.
The Parc de la Villette is now the starting point of Paris bicycle route # 9. This route follows the Canal Saint Martin to Bastille, crosses the Austerlitz Bridge and then goes on to the Poterne des Peupliers at the southern edge of the city.
This is an exciting urban park with modern buildings on three sides and the Seine River on the fourth. And of course the world's largest tethered balloon going up and down in the middle.
It is located in the far southwest corner of Paris, on a site which used to be an automobile factory (hence the name) and before that was a melon patch.
Second photo: Parc André Citroën as seen from the world's largest tethered balloon.
Third photo: Our shadow on the park.
Fourth photo: Another part of Parc André Citroën on a hot summer day.
We actually visited this park twice on our 2012 Paris trip. The first time was in the evening on Saturday night. We arrived at the park about 7:45 p.m. after wandering the streets from the Arc de Triomphe. On our walk we were almost all alone the entire time. We saw nary another tourist, but got a really good slice of an upscale Paris that many visitors probably don't see on their first or second trips. As it was 7:45 p.m. we wandered into the park only to hear a whistle blowing about 5 minutes later. We finally saw the source of the whistle being one of the park attendants who was whistling everybody to leave the park as it closed at 8:00 p.m. Disappointed that we couldn't explore more of the park we decided we would make it one of our planned destinations the next day.
Indeed on Sunday after another full day of activities we did get over to Parc Monceau about 6:00 p.m. and had actually made dinner reservations at a restaurant we had passed the day before for 8:30 p.m. The parc was filled with families, young people, old people. Kids on the swings and carousel, lovers on park benches and of course people on their ever present cell phones. We saw joggers, walkers and everybody just enjoying the Paris life. We walked into the main entrance and out of another entrance by some very elegant town homes.
Again, we closed up the park, but this time did get to see most everything.
Located in the square infront of Notre Dame Cathedral, is an interesting statue of Charlemagne, who was King of the Franks between 768 - 814 and Emperor of the West from 800 - 814. He was also known as Charles the Great, the King who helped define Western Europe as we know today. The statue is not as old as the Notre Dame itself, as it was created in 1886 by Louis and Charles Rochet.
The statue shows him on his Horse with two of his followers, Oliver and Roland with his sword. These two men were the bravest warriors and were chosen to be companions and guards for the King.
A medieval type of statue with the inscription "Charlemagne et ses levdes"
...... meaning “Charlemagne and his noble servants”.
A lot of people with more knowledge than I of “old Paris” are not fans of Baron Haussmann and all the “improvements” he directed under Napoleon III. As this park is a former quarry, I cannot imagine that it is a great improvement. I am tempted to compare it to Central Park in New York, but it is only a fraction of that size at 23 hectares (a little over 50 acres.) Nonetheless, it is a beautiful place with a placid lake, suspension bridges, old trees, beautiful blossoming plants and lots of birds. We visited on a Sunday afternoon and there were lots of couples, families with small children and several club-type groups of children. The pinnacle is the belvedere of Sybil from which you have a wonderful panoramic view of the park and the Paris skyline, particularly Sacré-Cœur Basilica in the distance.
This little garden square is at the Eastern end of the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on the Ile-de-la-Cité. It's a nice place to pause and admire the flying buttresses of the cathedral beside the river and whilst not quiet, it's much less crowded than the surrounding streets and eating/drinking establishments.
The square is site of the former archbishops palace which was ransacked during riots in 1831 and later demolished. The garden replaced this building and the gothic "fountain of the virgin" has been in the square since 1845.
The local Parc André Citroën is one of the best places where you'll find a perfect spot for picnic for the whole family or a group of friends. Kids can also splash in the fountain in the park, although the sign say that you can not do it - well everyone does it - you are in Paris.
Situated by the river Seine in the 15th district of Paris it also offer something very rare - a view of Paris in a hot air ballon.
At the moment it is refurbished and the welcoming extension of the Parc André Citroën, with fountains, kiosks and rides are due to open in Summer 2013.
This is one of the newer parks in Paris, created in 1995 on the site of the former Bercy wineries on the right bank of the Seine.
The park is directly across the river from the new François-Mitterrand Library, with which is connected by the new footbridge Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir.
Second photo: A large garden in the Parc de Bercy is named after Yitzahk Rabin (1922-1995), the Nobel Peace Prize winner who was assassinated in November 1995 in Tel Aviv.
The park with flower beds and fountains is located on the Battlefield - Champ de Mars - a former military parade-ground. The battlefield conducts to Ecole militare which wasf established by Lui XV for teaching young men from poor nobiliary families military sciences. Among the well-known pupils of the school - Napoleon Bonaparte who graduated from the school in 1784.
You can watch my 2 min 45 sec Video Paris Champ de Mars out of my Youtube channel.
While you're up around the Mouzaia district or the Butte Bergeyre, take a walk around this lovely park or just sit on a bench by the lake to ease those muscles. The park, opened for the Universal Exhibition of 1867, is built on another of the gypsum quarries that were frequent in the north and north-east of Paris. Built into it are waterfalls, cliffs and several gardens and a feature that can be seen from most anywhere in the park is the "Belvedere of Sybil". This was added in 1869 and is modeled on the Sybil temple in Tivoli, Italy.
In the park is a restaurant and a few cafés if you need to slake your thirst or need that urgent "pipi room". There are also plenty of slides, swings and other games for the kids.
Bolivar and Botzaris are the closest metros with Pyrenees a little further away.
There are hundreds of public parks and gardens in Paris. Most available to the general public, and many of the smaller ones in the residential area's well used by the local population. Many of these are set up with sports equipment, tables, seating etc, and you see many family groups there enjoying themselves.
The centre of Paris has them as well, tucked away in many many corners.
It's great to see that being able to relax with nature is still an option
Christened "Bagatelle", it was to become a location for festivities and a hunting meet.
In 1770 Count Chimay, the brother of Louis XVI became the owner. Invited by Chimay, Count d'Artois developed a passion for the estate and bought it in 1775. He demolished the decaying folly and built another even grander & quite extraordinary castle. This saw the appearance of a fabulous estate with a landscaped park.The cost of the work was estimated at over two million pounds!
Miraculously spared during the Revolution, Bagatelle experienced several fates: as a restaurant in 1797, then as a hunting meet under Napoléon, the estate being returned to the family of Count d'Artois under the Restoration.
Bagatelle was reborn when it was bought by Lord Seymour in 1835.
With the addition of a grand entrance on the park side, an orangery and new stables, the park was extended then transformed into the Jardin Napoléon III in the second half of the XIXth century.
Roses, Irises and Water Lilies
In 1905, Bagatelle was sold to the City of Paris.
Just prior to its redevelopment, Bagatelle was a strange sight. A landscape where rivers, paths and beds of flowers, created in the XIXth century, softened the surprise effects of the pre-romantic gardens of the Count d'Artois without detracting from its spirit.
From 1905, the J.-C.-N. Forestier, the Commissioner of the Jardins de Paris, succeeded in retaining the garden's style whilst at the same time redeveloping it.
In order to make the public more aware of the growing popularity of horticulture, J.-C.-N. Forestier created temporary and permanent collections of horticultural plants. He built the famous rose gardens, the iris garden and the presenters, designed a pond to improve the presentation of aquatic plants and water lilies which were so dear to the painter Claude Monet. In 1907 he organised the first international competition for new roses.