Parc Monceau; Another Paris Jewel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A park to picnic

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pavillon de Chartres

Paris’s Parc Monceau

What a gorgeous green space—another in Paris! Locals love it and you see relatively few tourists here. This 8.2 ha park, first laid out in 1769 by the Duc de Chartres, with garden designer Carmontelle, is in a pretty residential neighborhood, so it’s ringed with mostly 4-5-storey buildings, in classic cream or grey stone. A tall wrought-iron fence topped with gold-color spikes encloses the park. A large entrance, Pavillon de Chartres, in the center off Blvd. Courcelles by the Metro entrance (which has one of the old-style signs) has WCs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kids having fun

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Renaissance Arch was part of the old Hotel de Ville

It’s beautiful any time of the year, but especially in the warmer months. I have been there in spring, summer and fall and it was always bustling at lunch time: Joggers doing the outer circuit and stretching at the railings; workers having a sack lunch; groups of business men in suits strolling the paths; people on rollerblades or skate boards; people sitting reading or working on a laptop; others just soaking up the sun; parents with babies in strollers or toddlers playing in the playground; a dad in business suit, who had obviously met mom and baby here for lunch; a couple of large groups of elementary school kids, all very boisterous in their plain school uniforms of black/navy/grey pants/shorts/skirts, with a white blouse.

A mini sample of Paris life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chopin statue

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Alfred de Musset

Thick green lawns (many permitted for picnicking—notable because often lawns are off-limits, ‘pelouse interdite’) are criss-crossed by gravel paths lined with green benches. There are huge trees (I noticed sycamore, oak, chestnut and fir), which entice a large variety of birds; lots of very pretty flower beds; a small wooded ‘hill’; and many white marble statues of writers and musicians—I found Alfred de Musset, Guy de Maupassant, Edouard Palleron, Chopin and Gounod. There is also a beguiling scattering of other interesting objects, like a pyramid, Greek-inspired cupids, old Greek columns in a ‘ruined’ style, and the Naumachie, a Greek-style Corinthian colonnade at the end of a pool with drooping willows. A Renaissance Arch apparently was a part of the old Hotel de Ville that was set on fire during the commune riots.

A small kiosk sells snacks (crepes, gaufres (waffles), hot dogs etc), drinks in cans, and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Greek-style Corinthian colonnade

espresso—how civilized!

As a park, this is perfect. You can relax, enjoy the outdoors and can feel you’re away from a large city—the sound of voices and the wind rustling the leaves is much louder than that of the distant traffic. It’s very clean—lots of garbage bags all over, which people are very careful to use, and many little cleaning vehicles drive around.

One of my favorite parks in a city famed for parks.

Metro: Line 2, Monceau

Advertisements

About viviennemackie

Avid traveler, travel writer and photographer. In an earlier life I was a psychologist, but now am an ESL teacher. Very interested in multiculturalism, and how travel can expand one's horizons, understanding and tolerance.
This entry was posted in outdoor art, Paris, Paris history, parks and gardens and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s