There’s no denying that the 19th arrondissement is one of the most sought-after locations in all of Paris. It’s filled with lush parks, interesting museums, and fun nightlife options. In sum, it’s the best spot in Paris to relax and unwind. The icing on top of the park system’s success? Northeastern Paris is home to a pretty mountainous park with the delightful name of Parc des Buttes Chaumont and excellent views of the city.
A waterfall, a grotto, and a monument in the Roman style may be seen in this public park. The Parc des Buttes Chaumont is a beautiful park in the heart of Paris that is sometimes neglected in favor of the more well-known Jardin des Tuileries and Jardin du Luxembourg.
You might be surprised to hear that the Gibbet of Montfaucon is located beneath the 25 lush hectares of Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, one of the most notorious places of medieval Paris. This structure was used as both a gallows (or “gibbet”) and a showcase area for the months or even years following executions at other Parisian sites.
History of Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
During Napoleon III’s rule, the location for the Parc des Buttes Chaumont was selected by Georges-Eugène Haussmann, Baron Haussmann serving as the Prefet of Paris at the time. The park first welcomed visitors in 1867. It’s the sixth largest park in Paris, although it still isn’t the largest. It got its name from the chauve-mont, or barren hill, that originally stood there.
The park’s bloody history belies its present-day beauty and tranquility. The land where the park now exists was once used as a garbage dump, a place to dispose of human and animal waste.
The Gibbet of Montfaucon, the primary gallows used to hang offenders and exhibit their bodies to the public in the 1800s (after the French Revolution), stood between the Canal St. Martin and the Buttes Chaumont. François Villon addresses this issue in his poetry “Ballade des pendus,” also known as “Epitaphe Villon” or “Frères humans.”
The region had gained prominence for its gypsum and limestone quarries prior to the 16th century. In 1860, Napoleon III had the area landscaped by the same engineer and designer responsible for Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes, Jean-Charles Adolphe Alphand.
English garden features and characteristic 19th-century architecture were added to the garden by Alphand, who collaborated with French horticulture and landscape architect Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps. The opening of the park occurred with the start of the Universal Exhibition of Paris.
Centuries-old trees of all shapes and sizes may be found at Parc des Buttes Chaumont, from the graceful Oriental plane to the exotic hazel trees of Byzantium, the hardy Siberian elm, the ginkgo Biloba, and the majestic Lebanese cedar. Beautiful cherry blossom trees may also be seen in the spring after April 1st.
The Petite Ceinture, a light railway line built by Napoleon in 1862 and now almost forgotten, runs through the park. The tracks were used to carry both people and cargo all the way around Paris. The Paris Metro replaced the line in 1934, although the abandoned lines remain.
The public is not allowed in this part of Buttes Chaumont, although the tracks and the hidden tunnels beneath them are accessible through a gap in the barrier.
Attractions in Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Parc Buttes Chaumont is a beautiful garden that only grows in allure the farther one ventures into it. The architectural achievement of the 19th century and the natural beauty of the garden’s components are what make the garden so interesting to explore.
There is a lot of grass in the garden, and everyone is welcome to enjoy it. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is perfect for outdoor events like picnics and gatherings whenever the weather is nice. Despite its rather out-of-the-way position, the park is well worth a visit because of its abundance of water fountains, restaurants, and opportunities for exploration, running, strolling, and play.
This place has fountains! Many different species of birds and animals may be found year-round in the park’s central manmade lake. In addition, you may hire boats here.
Waterfowl, fish, and many other species populate the lake, which circles a central island with hills, and are the subject of an investigation by students and scientists.
A wide variety of birds, such as beautiful tits, quick-moving wagtails, musical warblers, lovely hedge sparrows, stately black swans, stately geese, delicious mallards, energetic black-headed gulls, and happy water hens, call the park home. Additionally, it has a rich fish population, including gudgeon, roach, tench, and pike.
Cherry blossoms and some other spring flowers are also seen around this time. The Gustave Eiffel–designed suspension bridge stands out among the many bridges in the park.
Inspired by the famous Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, Italy, the Temple de la Sybille was designed by Gabriel Davioud and constructed on a manmade cliff in the Roman style. It’s on an island in the middle of the lake and connected to the mainland by two bridges.
The craggy peak it rests on was manufactured by filling in the quarry’s excavation pits with dirt and then using dynamite and explosives to give the mountain a jagged appearance. Beautiful sights of Montmartre and the domes of Sacre Coeur may be seen from the Temple.
A grotto was constructed within a cavern on the hill that measures 65 feet in height. It emerges from the remnants of a quarry and is set back from the main park path. The fake waterfall adds to the enchantment of the cave by complementing the artificial stalactites, shadows, and lighting.
How to get to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont?
Buttes Chaumont (on Avenue Simon Bolivar), Botzaris (on Rue Botzaris), and Bolivar are all conveniently located near the garden on Metro Line 7b. The park is located less than five minutes from the Laumière station on Line 5 of the Paris Metro.
The grand town hall of the 19th arrondissement serves as a backdrop to the main entrance at Place Armand-Carrel. Seven lesser gates and five major gates (Porte Bolivar, Porte de la Villette, Porte Secrétan, Porte de Crimée, and Porte Fessart) await discovery as you go further into the city.
The Buttes Chaumont park may be found in Paris’s 19th arrondissement. The Buttes Chaumont Park has elements of both traditional bohemian France and modern Paris. Located in northern Paris, the Buttes Chaumont Park is a tranquil, green, and family-friendly haven.
With its expansive greenery, lake, suspension bridge, and plenty of walks, benches, and playground equipment, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont has quickly become one of the city’s most popular destinations.