Parc des Buttes Chaumont is the third largest public park in Paris after Jardin du Tuileries and Jardin du Vilette. It is located in the 19 arrondissement, spread on 247, 316 square meters, and encompasses over five kilometers of pathways. Parc des Buttes Chaumont, which literally means “bald mount hill”, is one of Parisians’ favorite parks.
History of Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Although it is rich in contour and stunning in natural beauty, Parc des Buttes Chaumont is not a natural park. Not only unattractive and abandoned, the area where Parc des Buttes Chaumont lies today was a limestone quarry public waste ground back in the 19th century.
Things started to turn well for the area when the city of Paris bought it in 1862. Napoleon III, the King at that time, decided to create a public park for the working class who lived around the neighborhood. The reconstruction of the park is also part of a bigger Paris remodeling plan which was lead by Baron Haussmann.
The main architect of the park development was Jean-Charles Alphand. He was assisted by an expert in horticulture, Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps, an expert in engineering, Belgrand, and another architect, Gabriel Davioud. It took four whole years to remodel the landscape in the area into a beautiful park. Upon its completion, Parc des Buttes Chaumont was opened to welcome the celebration of the Universal Exhibition on April 1, 1867.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont Today
There are many attractions and interesting spots to enjoy in Parc des Buttes Chaumont. As it has been stated in the beginning of this article, the park has various landscapes as the result of the carefully-planned park design. There are one lake, several English and Chinese gardens, a grotto with 20-meter high waterfall, several cliffs, bridges, and one most prominent attraction in Parc des Buttes Chaumont, the Sybille shrine which is located on the top of a 32 meters man-made cliff surrounded by a lake.
Sybille shrine is a Corinthian-style construction which was built to model the ancient Roman Temple of Vesta which was located in Tivoli, Italy. The shrine stood romantically on the edge of a cliff surrounded by a circular lake designed by Haussmann. Over the lake, there is a 63-meter long suspension bridge which was just recently renovated in 2009. There is also another bridge of 22-meter long which was known as “suicide bridge” due to its enormous height, connecting the shrine to the southern area of the park.
Three restaurants, Pavillon du Lac, Pavillon Puebla, and Rosa Bonheur, are ready to satisfy your hunger whenever you visit the park. There are also two Guignol theaters which serve as tourist attractions since their establishment in 1892. For visitors’ convenience, the park is now facilitated with free wi-fi connection.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont also stores numerous indigenous and exotic trees, mostly from Asia such as Himalayan cedars, bamboo-leafed prickly ashes, Siberian elms, Byzantine hazelnuts, Ginko Biloba, and Lebanese cedars which have been planted since 1880. The park also grows giant sequoia which is recorded as one of largest plants in the world. In total, there are more than 47 species of plants, trees, and shrubs.
Visiting Parc des Buttes Chaumont
The park is located between Rue Manin and Rue Botzaris. There are two ways to get to Parc des Buttes Chaumont by metro. You can stop at Buttes-Chaumont station or Botzaris station.
There are in total 13 gates that serve as the park’s entrances. The main gate is located at Place Armand-Carrel in the 19th arrondissement. There are other five large gates while the other seven are small gates around the park’s perimeter.