Friday, June 24, 2011

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Paris

It had been years since John and I visited the amazing Buttes-Chaumont Park in the 19th arrondissement but when we decided to wander through the Belleville neighbourhood last month, we thought we could best begin with a revisit to the gardens.
We entered at the park entrance at Ave Simon Bolivar and Rue Botzaris and wandered along the street circling the top of the park past the artificial cascade and the rustic tavern, Rosa Bonheur, a place that is apparently popular with a young crowd of local hipsters in the evenings.
Soon we descended to the central lake and island with its Roman style temple at the highest point. Buttes-Chaumont had originally been a quarry and garbage dump but in 1864 Napoleon III and Baron Hausmann commissioned this fantasy garden with features made out of poured concrete and planted with the wealth of trees that grace the mature park of today.
Visitors to the park can climb to the little temple based on the Temple of Sibyl near Rome on the island and enjoy the amazing views of the city below.
A suspension bridge connects the upper island with the mainland and offers great views of the gardens and lake below.
The park is very popular with local residents and the edges of the lake are lined with sunbathers on nice days
and families in the many delightful open areas like this spot with its artificial stream. Be sure to add a stroll here to your Paris itinerary!
It's full of lovely surprises.

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