Parc Montsouris is a public park in Paris which is styled to look like and English garden. It is located in the 14th arrondissement to the left of River seine. Its construction was commissioned by Napoleon III as a part of a plan to create more green areas in the city of Paris. The park covers 15 acres of area and surrounded by residential districts and the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (CIUP)
The park is not far from Montparnasse and it is a perfect place to hide away after a busy day. There are puppet shows, play grounds, and pony rides which kids would definitely love.
History of Parc Montsouris
In the 19 century, Napoleon III had a project to transform Paris into a different yet more enchanting city. It was Baron Haussmann who was appointed to be in charge of the whole transformation. One of his plans was to create more green spaces in the city. He then appointed Adolphe Alphand, a landscape architect to design Parc Montsouris.
Alphand designed Parc Montsouris to be a romantic park with English design. By that time, English garden design was a popular design since the beginning of the century. The park itself has been an inspiring place for poets, writers, and artists due to its beauty. However, a tragedy took place just right on its inauguration day. The designer, Alphand, committed suicide in the park’s lake.
The park got its name from mice that used to inhabit the area. The area where it is located today was called “moque souris” which means mock mice. As the time went by, the name then evolved into “Montsouris.”
Parc Montsouris Today
Parc Montsouris is the second largest park in Paris. It has approximately 150 tree species and 1400 trees in total. It has numerous wooden footpaths, small waterfalls, brooks, and hidden nooks. There is also a man made lake where various animals such as Florida turtles, swans, ducks, geese, and birds consider it as their home. However, visitors of the parks are not allowed to feed those animals.
The park also has irresistible appeal to children as it has several playgrounds and a puppet theater. Older visitors can also enjoy the park’s historical marble and bronze sculptures whose history goes back to mid 1800s. Some of them are “Shipwrecked” by Antoine Étex, “Desert drama” by Georges Gardet, and “Column of the Armed Peace” by Jules-Felix Coutan.
Visiting Parc Montsouris
The main entrance of Parc Montsouris is located at Avenue Reille and Boulevard Jourdain in the 14 arrondissement of Paris. It can also be accessed from Rue Gazan, Rue Nansouty, Rue de la Cité Universitaire, and Rue Emile Deutsch de la Meurthe (Paris 14).
One interesting thing about Parc Montsouris is that it has an RER station inside it. Cité Universitaire is an RER line B stop which also serves as an architecture achievement with its overhanging trees and open-air top. The stop also serves as tram stop so tram is another option for you whenever you want to go there. Other available transportation is bus line 21, 67, and 89.