Parc Des Buttes-Chaumont

Rue Manin/Rue de Crimeel/ Rue de Botzaris
Paris, France

Contributed by Project for Public Spaces

A verdant park built upon the hillside, with meandering paths, and grottos, a lake, cascading water fall with a suspension bridge and the famous "pont des suicides."

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Why It Works

The amenities of this graceful park include a boat rental upon a lake, horse and donkey rides, a cafe with an outdoor terrace, a roller rink, playgrounds and swing sets, performers and marionettes. The landscape was built to exaggerate natural features such as cliffs and waterfalls, giving the park a mythological quality. Details like concrete handrails molded to look like wooden logs attest to the quality craftsmanship that went into this park.

History & Background

Annexed from the local district, a slum at that time, by Napoleon III the park was intended to rehabilitate the area. Napoleon III was an advocate of green open spaces, and in seventeen years 4,950 acres of woods, parks and gardens were laid out and 600,000 trees planted. Envisioned by Baron Haussman, this is one of Paris's most picturesque landscaped parks. The grottos, lakes and embankments are man made--the results of dynamite charges. Haussman also designed the Montsouris gardens in the south to be a replica of Le Parc Des Buttes-Chaumont.

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