Leave the bustling Avenue des Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe behind you, take a pleasant 900 metre walk down the wide Avenue Hoch.
Enter through the grand, gold filagree gates and you will discover this peaceful and charming park, Parc Monceau.
Located in the 8th arrondissement, the park offers some respite from the crowds and an opportunity to admire some of the surrounding grand mansions.
Commissioned by King Louis XVI’s cousin, The Duke of Chartres; Philippe d’Orléans and completed in 1779, the park was much larger than the park you see today.
Initially, containing architectural follies, or extravagant buildings that were to represent different places around the globe, some of these items included, an Italian vineyard, a Dutch windmill, and a minaret, only a few of the features remain today.
One of which is the enchanting lily pond, surrounded by ‘Roman’ columns, and a small replica of an Egyptian pyramid.
Time moved on and a new city wall was constructed along one edge of the park.
A circular rotunda was built to act as a customs house and the Duke of Chartres resided in the apartment on the top floor, allowing him views of the park.
By 1793 and after The Duke had voted for his cousin Louis XVI’s execution, he, himself was guillotined and the park became the property of the city of Paris.
Around 1815, the park was halved, when the Dukes family, who by this time had regained ownership and sold parcels of land to developers who built some of the grand mansions you see surrounding the park today and the city of Paris, bought back the remaining area.
In 1861, during Baron Haussmann’s redevelopment of Paris, he constructed two long wide boulevards leading to the park, to allow horse and carriages easy access.
Today you will find sculptures of French figures, such as Chopin and the refurbished circular rotunda (MAP)
This is a lovely, tranquil park, much smaller and less populated than the big Jardin des Tuileries and the Luxembourg Gardens. Here tourists are replaced with local joggers and families.
It is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, with a coffee from the Kiosk and a quiet stroll.
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You can read about my visit to Parc Monceau below
Walking around Paris is one of the things I enjoy most about being in this beautiful city. Today, I estimated I walked over 15 kilometres. I may not have had a rip roaring New Years Eve but what I did have, was a wonderful, New Years Day full of lovely surprises. Being Sunday …
- Parc MonceauOnly a short stroll from the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe with a pretty lily pond and surrounded by elegant homes.
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- Secret Garden Hôpital Hôtel-DieuA secret garden in an unusual location, right in the centre of Paris that thousands of tourists pass by each day without knowing it exists.
- Le Cordon BleuSlip on the starched white apron, ensure you shout oui chef and be prepared to be taken on a culinary experience in this world famous institution.
- La Cuisine ParisI was assigned a small chicken to de-bone, all the while, learning knife and chopping techniques.
- Dinner with Jim HaynesIf you are looking for a unique experience and fancy the idea of having dinner in a private home in Paris ...
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- Passage JouffroySift through old books at the famous bookstore; Librairie Paul Vulin as you walk upon geometric black, white and grey tiles and discover the quaint Hotel Chopin.
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- Passage du CaireA unique façade, a magnificent glass ceiling, 360 metres in length, Passage du Caire is the oldest and longest Passage in Paris
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