Parc Monceau is one of the oldest parks in Paris created in the 18th century by the Duc de Chartres. As with all such enterprises in those days, it was built out of rivalry with other nobility. It was confiscated during the Revolution and not much happened although it was used for the first parachute jump in the world in 1797 (from a hot air balloon, obviously). By 1802 the park was in terrible condition, so it was returned to the Orléans family. They started work on it but got bored, so they sold it, and then they bought it back in 1819. I guess that's the sort of thing you do when you have too much money.
We can probably thank Baron Haussmann for the current park, because the park was expropriated in 1860 for the construction of Boulevard Malesherbes. The park was originally 184,000 m² and was reduced by the roadworks to 82,000 m². Then they finally got to work on it to install all of the fake things people loved under Napoléon III - fake ruins, a waterfall with grotto with cement stalactites, even a fake pyramid. It is not at all my favourite park, but is in the nicest part of town, so it was worth one of my rare visits.
The main entrance has a pavillion by Ledoux. If I am not mistaken, it now houses the park toilets.
It was just warm enough to have a picnic on this sunny April day, as long as you wore your jacket.
The residences overlooking the park help to give you an idea of the sort of neighbourhood.
On a Sunday, the park goers looked pretty ordinary. On a weekday morning, on often sees only a lot of old people plus a huge number of African and Filipina nannies pushing strollers around. I assume that a number of them have lost their jobs in the last year due to remote work, or else they are trapped in the luxury apartments a lot more what with fixing tea and sandwiches for their employers throughout the day and probably putting on a big show with the ironing board.
Thank you for showing my favourite park in spring. I never get to see it this time of the year so appreciate the blossoms. I think you captured the beautiful Davidia tree with its deep pink flowers. Also known as the ''handerchief tree. And yes, the Ledoux pavilion does indeed have the park toilets and they are kept very clean as there is an attendant. I find the statues and other features very interesting. After the Davidia tree the next alley to the left is the monument to Maupassant( a reader contemplating his work), then the Corinthian Colonade where you took a fabulous photo - fabulous because the nearest part reveals detail and the view beyond delivers scale. In one of the photos I caught a glimpse of the oldest tree in the park. A 140 yr old plane tree. Lovely shot of the arched bridge built to resemble the Rialto bridge in Venice. The only thing I dislike is the Pyramid Folie. To me it just doesn't look right in the park. If tourists want to see how the other half lives, a stroll just outside the park in and around Rue Murillo and rue Rembrandt, will reveal some very unusual mansions. Some of the architecture is fabulous like the Menier Mansion at 5 Ave van Dyck. These streets are immediately outside the park.
On the one hand, I think I can see why this would not be your favorite park. On the other hand, you certainly captured many people enjoying in many different ways what is obviously their preferred park. You also showed us Spring in full swing, despite what seems to have been a rather cool day.
It's amazing to think that the park remains so huge even though it was reduced by more than half. No wonder there was a revolution! Thanks for all that interesting background.
There are so many lovely, interesting, well-composed pictures in this report, but my favorite has to be the faun picture (3rd pic, reply #2). That's because it has every element of "park" in it -- a statue, a pigeon, a runner, a snacker on a bench, sun worshipper/yoga devotee -- all with a background of trees and dense shrubs.
Thanks for the lovely day out!
Last Edit: Apr 21, 2021 11:01:14 GMT by bixaorellana: must learn to proofread