Travel

Parc Monceau – the magnificent heritage of the Duke of Orleans

Towers, palaces, museums, cafes and restaurants… You will find many of them as soon as come to the glorious city of Paris. However, not only these objects make Paris known outside France and inside it as well. The capital of France (among other things) has a large number of squares, parks and forests. Certainly, many people know such places as Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes, Tuileries gardens and other green areas of the city. In this article we would like to say few words about one more interesting Parisian place. And this is Park Monceau (Parc Monceau).

Like in many cases associated with Paris the history of this park is rooted in the distant past. Thus, the Duke of Chartres lived there in at one time. Later this man became the Duke of Orleans (it was a very serious title in France). In 1769 he decided to buy a morsel of land in Paris (a little over one hectare) in the area where street Courcelles is today. The Duke bought the land not just as a specific intent; he had a goal to build a magnificent Pavilion and to found the French Garden in this place. This process became the first step in a long history of Parc Monceau. Louis-Miry Kolnon was appointed as the main architect.

As long as the Duke was wealthy and influential person, so he had been able to enlarge his land ownership on eleven acres rather quickly (1773-1778). And as the land enlarged as the desire of the owner were changed. The Duke already wanted to see this beautiful garden and an open theater for organizing events for his many guests. The artist Carmontelle was hired for this. Dutch windmill, Egyptian pyramid, artificial oval-shaped pond, ruins of Gothic castle and other things in the park (some of which we can see here now) belong to his arms. Due to these object the name of the master went to the history of Parc Monceau.

The following reconstruction of the park was awarded in 1793, when a landscape gardener from the British Isles Thomas Blake had created here a new English-style park (in those days it was fashionable among the Parisian elite). However, the owner could not enjoy this for a long time because of a revolution. The Duke failed or did not wish to immigrate, so his head successfully met the mistress of the new authorities – the guillotine. The next time a decision to improve the park was only half a century later.

At the time of the revolutionary government Parc Monceau was mostly used for theatrical performances. It is noteworthy that the first in the world parachute jump (more precisely, the point of landing) was performed here in 1797 by Andre-Jacques Garnerin.

After this the park changed owners many times, it went even back to the family property of the Duke of Orleans, but eventually became a state and got the public status. Modern Monceau park is a beautiful place for relax and enjoy spending free time among many Parisians. And the main attractions of Parc Monceau are two old woods: the maple (it is already one hundred and thirty years) and the Platanus (ten years older the maple).