Located in Paris’ 8th arrondissement, Parc Monceau is definitely not your run-of-the-mill walk in the park. It’s heavy English-style and meandering paths splattered with statues every now and then clash with France’s customary symmetrical and organized park design. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg as to what exactly makes this park different from the rest.
Established in 1769 by Phillippe d’Orléans, Duke of Chartres and the King’s cousin, Parc Monceau was initially designed by Louis Carrogis Carmontelle, who was given orders to create “an extraordinary garden that would unite all times and all places”.
Carmontelle took those words to heart and decided to build scaled-down replicas of the world’s most prominent architectural buildings. As a result, an Egyptian pyramid, Corinthian pillars, a Dutch windmill and a Chinese fort – among others – can all be found scattered throughout the entire garden.
Many other designers continued to work on the park through the ages, bringing Parc Monceau to its current English form. The result? A green haven brimming with flowers, trees and lawns interspersed with picturesque fantasy architectural features. The follies are accompanied by quaint, detailed bridges used to cross its river, as well as statues of famous French figures such as Frédéric Chopin, Ambroise Thomas, Edouard Pailleron, Guy de Maupassant and Alfred de Musset, among others.
Claude Monet, Marcel Proust and Hector Berlioz were all very fond of Parc Monceau, and claimed to reach greater inspiration within its 82 ha (202 acres) of history, architecture, botany and peacefulness.
Only part of Parc Monceau is open to the public, mostly due to the fact that six private residential mansions were built on the park long before it became an attraction. The park also includes playgrounds for children and sports areas and make sure you check out concert, theatre and festival listings to see what fun-filled event is taking place at the time of your stay.
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