Parc Monceau, a park full of surprises

Outings | Nature
Le parc Monceau par Esprit de France
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One of the best parks in Paris

Located in a quiet and residential area, Parc Monceau and its surroundings nonetheless offer treasures to be discovered.

In the eighteenth century, the Duke of Chartres decided to devote several acres of the huge land he owned north of the Seine to the creation of an Anglo-Chinese style garden meant to compete with the Jardins de Bagatelle. He wanted to make it a "country of illusions" with what were called follies, that is to say constructions of romantic, oriental or other inspiration, intended to adorn a landscape garden. The result was quite extraordinary but this outstanding park underwent many amputations and damages afterwards, at the time of the Revolution in particular. In 1860 however, the park was refurbished under the direction of the famous Jean-Charles Alphand and was opened to the public. Of the original park, we can still admire many vestiges imitating antiquity: the "Egyptian" monuments, a small pyramid, an obelisk and a sarcophagus, as well as the ruins of classical Greece with a Corinthian colonnade romantically arranged around an oval basin. The rest of the facilities including a river with its small Italian-style bridge, its waterfall and its cave date from the nineteenth century.

Le Parc Monceau par Esprit de FranceOther ruins, truly ancient and also set in the garden, have a different origin: they come from the old palace of the Tuileries and the old Hotel de Ville destroyed by fire in 1871. Beside these architectural vestiges, the park contains many statues in an original scenography that combines vast lawns, hidden nooks and lush vegetation: look for the sycamore maple tree with twisted branches (1853) or the oriental plane tree with a seven-meter wide trunk... Today it is one of the most well-kept and most appreciated parks in the capital: you can see children riding quiet ponies and also celebrities - often from the world of art or politics – jogging here quite regularly. And last but not least, let’s not forget to mention the fact that, just next to the entrances of the park, there are two museums with original history and collections, the Musée Cernuschi and the Musée Nissim-de-Camondo!