Where do I begin?
I love this place. Especially on a sunny day. On weekends, there are plenty of people thinking the same thing as I am, visiting Le Parc Monceau.
Runners and walkers getting their workout in, kids playing on the swings, kicking a ball around or riding the mini-carousel, couples sitting on benches, or a son and a mother, young group of kids having a picnic, the list goes on.
The park is a 5 minute walk from my house so I take full advantage and even just the walk there is cool.
I could sit there for hours and people watch. Old statues, beautiful flowers, a pond, teeny tiny waterfalls and its just…. simply gorgeous. Hard to believe the parc is in the city, it’s so quiet.
Not sure if it’s because i’m still new to Paris but sometimes, I still pinch myself and need a few minutes to breathe to take it all in that I, Annie, from a small town of about 2,500 people in Manitoba, Canada, is in the city of lights, Paris, France.
Sometimes it happens in the Metro, sometimes it’s a smell that reminds me i’m actually here after wanting it for so long, sometimes it’s when i’m talking to someone from back home and want them to experience it with me because it’s so so beyond pretty.
But there’s so much more to it than that, it’s everything and it’s everywhere in this city. It’s not just an old building, or a monument, there’s a story behind everything. Beautiful stories, sad stories, stories of love, of death, I wish I knew all of them.
I now know a bit of history about Le Parc Monceau. (from Wikipedia- Le Parc Monceau)
The intention of the garden was to surprise and amaze visitors.
This goal was clearly stated by Carmontelle (employed by Phillippe d’Orleans, duke and cousin of King Louis XVI) to design the gardens: “It is not necessary for gardens or nature to be presented in the most agreeable forms. It’s necessary instead to preserve the charm that one encounters entering the garden, and to renew it with each step, so that the visitor in his soul will have the desire to revisit the garden every day and to possess it for himself. The true art is to know how to keep the visitors there, through a variety of objects, otherwise they will go to the real countryside to find what should be found in this garden; the image of liberty.”
And it’s true, as soon as you enter the gates to the garden, you want to walk every inch of it, quietly, soaking it all in.
Couple facts about the park:
- Finished being built in 1779
- The duke was guillotined during the Reign of Terror in 1793 and the park was nationalized
- In 1797, Parc Monceau was the site of the first stilk parachute jump, the man jumped from a Montgolfier hot air balloon
In 1871, following the downfall of Louis Napoleon, and the subsequent uprising and then crushing of the Paris Commune, the park was the site of a massacre of Communards by army troops.
Claude Monet painted a series of three paintings of the park in the spring of 1876. He painted two further paintings of the park in 1878.
The park is in the 8th arrondissement, can be accessed by Metro 2 and has many entrances.
Open all day and hours are extended during the summer.
Many hours this summer will be spent in this park… 🙂