The former Citron plant in Paris has been transformed into the Parc André Citron. One of the newest parks in the capital, it opened in 1992 and covers a total area of 14 hectares.
Famous architects and gardeners (Alain Provost, Patrick Berger, Jean-Paul Viguier, Gilles Clément, and François Jodry) were responsible for the design of this futuristic location, which is the only park in Paris that overlooks the Seine. The park is split up into the white garden, the black garden, and the main park area.
Numerous exotic trees and uncommon plants, as well as two magnificent hothouses, are just a few of the many surprises in store for guests. Whether you’re looking to unwind or have some fun, the park’s many amenities are sure to meet your needs. There is a ball game area, ping pong tables, spring-based toys, and toboggans for the kids to use, and the tethered air balloon offers rides to kids and adults at heights of up to 150 meters (depending on weather).
History of Parc André Citroën or who was André Citroën?
In the 15th century, the area that is now Parc André Citron was home to Javetz, a tiny town that grew up around a harbor. In the 17th century, when it was known as Javel, the area was home to a thriving fishing community, a popular swimming spot, and bustling market gardens that supplied Paris with fresh produce. There were windmills, too, by the way.
The construction of a chemical factory to make sodium hypochlorite, better known as bleach outside of France but still known as Eau de Javel in that country, disrupted the peace of the surrounding countryside about the year 1777.
In 1915, as World War I started across Europe, a businessman named André Citron founded a factory in Javel specifically to produce armaments. Citron knew he would have to find a new use for the factory after the war was over, even though he employed up to 35,000 people at its peak.
Given André Citron’s experience in the auto industry (he met Henry Ford in Detroit in 1913), the transition to producing his own vehicles was an easy one. The Citron Type A 10 HP, Europe’s first mass-produced car, was constructed for the first time in 1919. Within a decade, Citroen had risen to become the world’s fourth-largest producer of automobiles.
André’s moment in the spotlight didn’t last long. The Traction Avant’s development costs put him out of business in 1934. Michelin, Citroen’s largest creditor, took control of the factory. The following year, André passed away from stomach cancer.
Citron production continued, and the Traction Avant quickly became the company’s most groundbreaking vehicle, as well as its best-selling and highest-grossing model. Citrons were made at the Javel factory until 1975 when production was relocated to a more sophisticated facility elsewhere in France. That freed up 59 acres of land for future use.
Fourteen acres of factory land were transformed into a state-of-the-art urban park in the 1990s. It featured a recreational area with a wide open lawn and several smaller parks with flowers, each with its own style and subject, as was typical of parks built during that time period.
Highlights of Parc André Citroën
The 14-hectare park features cutting-edge landscape design and, toward its southern end, a handful of ultra-modern steel and glass buildings. The exotic plants of Mediterranean sources housed in these enormous greenhouses are among the most popular attractions of the Parc André Citron.
They are reminiscent of the orangeries at the Tuileries and Luxembourg, but their modern take on the style is evident in the enormous glass walls that are framed in metal.
On one side of the park, a series of concrete walls feature waterfalls that draw in parkgoers. A wall of green hedges and trees stretches right over the concrete walls, and there is also a man-made river that runs beside the walls. From here, you can enter the garden’s other parts, each dedicated to a distinct color, including the blue garden, whose plants and flowers come in a wide range of blue tones.
The park map for the innovative urban park appears like it was pieced together from different areas; there is a massive central “torso,” two “arms,” and even “feet” along the river bank. Unique and aesthetically pleasing water fountains dot the huge paved courtyard in front of the two greenhouses.
The park’s long, straight canal that forms its southern boundary is another appealing feature. Perhaps you’ll be reminded of the old canals that were dug to supply Paris with water. Aesthetically pleasant modern concrete guardhouses are interconnected by picturesque walkways on either side of the canal.
How to get to Parc André Citroën?
Several bus lines, including routes 169, 30, 39, 42, 72, and 88, pass through Parc André Citron, making this a convenient option for those who like to take the bus. Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou is the closest bus stop, and it only takes a minute to walk to the park from there.
The Javel and Pont du Garigliano – Hôpital Européen G. Pompidou RER stations are the closest to the park, and they are only 2 and 9 minutes away on foot, respectively. N is the name of the train line that makes a stop at the park.
You may reach your destination in around 8 minutes by foot from the exit of the closest metro station, Lourmel. To get to the park quickly and easily, take the No. 8 or No. 10 subway lines.
Although the parks and gardens in the heart of Paris are lovely retreats from the city’s hustle and bustle, Park André Citron is anything but. This contemporary park in the 15th Arrondissement, on the outskirts of Paris, serves as a focal point for a typically quiet residential neighborhood. You can unwind and enjoy the beautiful flowers of the park and picnic areas, but the reason you’re here is to let loose and relive your childhood.