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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rotunda, in Parc Monceau, (1787) built as part of the Wall of the Farmers-General
Rotunda, in Parc Monceau, (1787) built as part of the Wall of the Farmers-General

Parc Monceau (French pronunciation: ​[paʁk mɔ̃so]) is a public park situated in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France, at the junction of Boulevard de Courcelles, Rue de Prony and Rue Georges Berger. At the main entrance is a rotunda. The park covers an area of 8.2 hectares (20.3 acres).

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Transcription

The Parc Monceau is one of the most beautiful parks in Paris. It’s a large park located in the northwestern part of the city. This is Courcelles Boulevard, which runs along the north side of the park. Here you can see the park itself through the fence. The other three sides of the park are surrounded by luxury homes and offices. There’s a bus stop by the main entrance, with the same name as the park. And there’s also a Métro stop by the same name, served by Line 2. This rotunda marks the main entrance on the north side of the park. This is looking back west along Courcelles Boulevard. The rotunda contains public toilets and a guard station. It predates the park. Let’s go inside, shall we? Sorry about the camera movements. The pavement is really uneven at this spot. This is the rotunda as it appears from inside the park, looking north. The park has a number of grassy areas on which you’re allowed to walk and relax. How crowded the lawns (and park) are depends on the day, time, and the weather. The Parc Monceau, like all Paris parks, is meticulously landscaped and maintained. This is a view west from the park’s center along one of two broad pedestrian avenues. This is looking south along the other avenue. They meet in the center of the park. Here we are looking east. This is looking west from the east end of the park. Fluffy clouds cast fast-moving shadows over the largest lawn in the park. The pedestrian walkways do have names, although most people pay no attention to them. This is looking north towards the rotunda and main entrance, from the south side. THe “main street” of the park is the broad east-west Countess Ségur avenue. Here’s a panoramic shot from the center of the park. This was on a Sunday. You can see the rotunda and main entrance in the distance, looking north. This is looking along the Countess Ségur avenue towards the east. Ferdousi Avenue, looking south. Note the artificial hill on the left. While I was filming this video, there was a temporary exhibition of exotic landscaping. Here’s a spot that’s supposed to look like Oceania. And a vaguely Japanese spot. This is supposed to look like tropical America. And this is supposed to look like Africa. Three days later, the exposition was over, and the exhibits were gone. But the park’s gardeners immediately began putting in new landscaping. A footpath runs around the perimeter of the park in an endless oval. It has lots of benches for relaxation, and it’s also very popular with joggers. You can see some of the fancy homes just behind the trees. Some of them have private 24-hour entrances into the park. This is one of the most photogenic of Paris parks. There are also smaller paths that run in all directions through the park. These paths are handy if you want to avoid colliding with joggers. Monceau Park is well known for its “follies,” or fake monuments. They were built in the 18th century to bring to mind famous and exotic locales. I don’t know what these blocks represent. But this was obviously intended to look like an Egyptian pyramid. I wonder what’s behind this door, eh? And I’m afraid to ask what this is supposed to be. An archway with a bench, but I don’t know what exotic region it represents. This colonnade is the best known faux monument in the park. It sits at one end of a small lagoon. The ducks are real, at least. The colonnade is very nice, and it’s not nearly as old as it looks. Then there’s this charming stone bridge to nowhere, crossing a stream from the lagoon. It carries a symbol of Paris, a fishing boat and the motto “Fluctuat nec mergitur.” This Japanese lantern is not fake. It was a gift from the city of Tokyo, Japan. This plaque commemorates an early parachute jump, carried out here in 1797. The park includes an artificial hill with steps and a waterfall, and lots of pretty plants. But as the sign says, it’s closed to the public now, and has been for many years. This is a view of the park from the southeast corner. You can see a number of the follies. You can see the colonnade in the background. Here we are on the large oval path again, which is named after Jacques Gamerin. We are in the northeast corner of the park. The Parc Monceau looks especially nice in morning and afternoon sunlight. Moving along the path, you can see the colonnade again on the left. You can also see some traffic on Courcelles Boulevard behind the fence in the background. This is looking back the other way on the same path. I don’t know how these lawns survive the constant foot traffic from park visitors. Another soothing panoramic. And it looks way prettier in real life. There are many statues in the park, but I skipped them because Paris is full of those. Crowds in the park vary a lot by day and weather. This is typical for a sunny weekday. And this is typical of a weekend. And this is on a misty, overcast, slightly rainy day. The park is also equipped with Wi-Fi, for people who just have to be online all the time. Monceau Park also has activities for kids, such as this cool pony ride. Brave steeds awaiting their young riders. And here they come, with parents watchfully walking alongside. And they drift off into the sunset (almost) past the colonnade. There’s also a merry-go-round. You can see the rotunda in the background. We’re looking north. There are swings, too. The swings and merry-go-round require tickets. There’s a single snack bar that sells lots of food and small toys. Kids like to watch the ducks in the lagoon, too. There’s a sort of roller rink that’s pretty cool, and free. And there’s a standard playground with things to climb on. This is a small, quiet sandbox for toddlers. And this is a larger one for the older kids. The park is often overflowing with joggers, especially on weekends. The oval path around the park is a nearly ideal jogging track, 1170 metres long. The scenery is nice, too … even if it’s fake. I just love the look of all the trees and grass. And judging from the traffic, I’m not the only one. The late afternoon sun coming out after a long period of rain. The gardeners changed the landscaping on this hill three times in less than a week. A lot of gardeners work hard to keep these Parisian parks interesting and pretty. By the way, there are some other entrances to the park, most of them with ornate gates. A small street behind the gates leads to the park itself, between the houses. Rembrandt Street lacks a fancy gate, though. Another entrance off Lisbonne Street (south side of the park). My favorite entrance, off Hoche Avenue. I like it because it’s very close to the Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe. Well, our visit is drawing to a close. We may as well leave via the same entrance we used to come in. This video doesn’t really do justice to the park. You must visit it in person. Back to Courcelles Boulevard, walking east. Thank you for watching my video. I really appreciate it.

Contents

History

The Folly of the Duke of Chartres

Carmontelle giving keys to Parc Monceau to the Duke of Chartres (painting by Carmontelle (1779)
Carmontelle giving keys to Parc Monceau to the Duke of Chartres (painting by Carmontelle (1779)
Turkish tents and lake in Parc Monceau painted by Carmontelle (1779)
Turkish tents and lake in Parc Monceau painted by Carmontelle (1779)
The classical colonnade in Parc Monceau (1778)
The classical colonnade in Parc Monceau (1778)
The Egyptian Pyramid (1778) in Parc Monceau
The Egyptian Pyramid (1778) in Parc Monceau

The park was established by Phillippe d'Orléans, Duke of Chartres, a cousin of King Louis XVI, fabulously wealthy, and active in court politics and society. In 1769 he had begun purchasing the land where the park is located. In 1778, he decided to create a public park, and employed the writer and painter Louis Carrogis Carmontelle to design the gardens.

The Duke was a close friend of the Prince of Wales, later George IV, and a lover of all things English. His intention was to create what was then called an Anglo-Chinese or English garden, on the earlier model of Stowe House in England (1730–1738), with its examples of the architectural folly, or fantastic reconstructions of buildings of different ages and continents. It was similar in style to several other examples of the French landscape garden built at about the same time, including the Desert de Retz, the gardens of the Château de Bagatelle and the Folie Saint James.

Carmontelle employed a German landscape architect named Etickhausen and the architect of the Duke, Bernard Poyet, to build the follies. The intention of the garden was to surprise and amaze visitors. This goal was clearly stated by Carmontelle: "It is not necessary for gardens or nature to be presented in the most agreeable forms. It's necessary instead to preserve the charm that one encounters entering the garden, and to renew it with each step, so that the visitor in his soul will have the desire to revisit the garden every day and to possess it for himself. The true art is to know how to keep the visitors there, through a variety of objects, otherwise they will go to the real countryside to find what should be found in this garden; the image of liberty.".[1]

The garden designed by Carmontelle was finished in 1779. It contained a miniature ancient Egyptian pyramid, a Roman colonnade, antique statues, a pond of water lilies, a tatar tent, a farmhouse, a Dutch windmill, a temple of Mars, a minaret, an Italian vineyard, an enchanted grotto, and "a gothic building serving as a chemistry laboratory," as described by Carmontelle. In addition to the follies, the garden featured servants dressed in oriental and other exotic costumes, and unusual animals, such as camels.[2]

Though the Folly was (and is) frequently described as an Anglo-Chinese or English garden, its architect, Carmontelle, had a very different view. In his work, Jardin de Monceau, près de Paris, (1779), he wrote: "It was not at all an English garden that was intended at Monceau, but precisely what the critics said; to put together into one garden all times and all places. It is simply a fantasy, to have an extraordinary garden, a pure amusement, and not at all the desire to mimic a nation which, when it makes a "natural" garden, uses a roller on all the greens and spoils nature."[2]

As garden fashions changed, in 1781 parts of the park were remodeled into a more traditional English landscape style by the Scottish landscape gardener Thomas Blaikie. In 1787, a new city wall, the Wall of the Farmers-General, was built along the northern edge of the garden, along with a circular rotunda in the form of a classical Doric temple, known as the Pavilion de Chartres, designed by Claude Nicolas Ledoux. The ground floor of the temple was used as a customs house, while the upper floor was an apartment with a view of the garden reserved for the Duke.[3]

While The Duke was a supporter of the ideas of the French Revolution, and even voted, as a member of the Assembly, for the execution of his own cousin, Louis XVI, it did not save him. He was guillotined during the Reign of Terror in 1793, and the park was nationalized.

Plan du Parc Monceau.jpg
Schematic depiction of André-Jacques Garnerin's parachute used in the Parc Monceau descent of 22 October 1797.  Illustration dates from the early nineteenth century.
Schematic depiction of André-Jacques Garnerin's parachute used in the Parc Monceau descent of 22 October 1797. Illustration dates from the early nineteenth century.

In 1797, Parc Monceau was the site of the first silk parachute jump, when André-Jacques Garnerin jumped from a Montgolfier hot air balloon, landing in the park where a large crowd was gathered.

The Park of Baron Haussmann

After the monarchy was restored, the park was returned to the family of the Duke. During the Second Empire, the family sold lots within the park to real estate developers, who built luxurious town houses, reducing the size of the park by half. The remaining part of the park was purchased by the city of Paris in 1860. All that remained of the original folly was the water lily pond, the stream and the fantasy "tombs", including the Egyptian pyramid.

In 1860, the park was purchased by the city, and in August 1861 Parc Monceau became the first new public park in Paris to be created by Baron Haussmann as part of the grand transformation of Paris begun by Emperor Louis Napoleon. Two main alleys were laid out from east to west and north to south, meeting in the center of the park, and the alleys within the park were widened and paved, so carriages could drive the park. An ornamental gate 8.3 m (27 ft) high was installed along a newly created avenue, boulevard Malesherbes, curving paths were laid out around the park for strolling. The pavillon de Chartres was also modified by the architect, Gabriel Davioud, who had a graceful classical dome added to the structure. He also built bridge modeled after the Rialto bridge in Venice over the stream to replace the Chinese bridge that Carmontelle had once been there. He preserved the other follies remaining from the original garden. Haussmann embellished the park with a rich collection of exotic trees and flowers from around the world.

In 1871, following the downfall of Louis Napoleon, and the subsequent uprising and then crushing of the Paris Commune, the park was the site of a massacre of Communards by army troops.

Claude Monet painted a series of three paintings of the park in the spring of 1876. He painted two further paintings of the park in 1878. Hector Berlioz was also fond of the park.

During the Third Republic, Park Monceau was decorated with many statues of writers and musicians; notably a statue of Maupassant by Raoul Verlet (1897); Pailleron by Leopold Bernstamm (1906); Musset by Antonin Mercié (1906), a statue which had originally stood in the square of the Théâtre-Français; Gounod, also by Antonin Mercié (1902); Ambroise Thomas by Alexandre Falguière (1900); and Chopin by Froment-Meurice (1906). An arcade of the old Paris Hotel de Ville, burned by the Communards in 1871, was placed near the colonnade of Carmontelle.[4]

Features

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894), Le Parc Monceau, oil on canvas, 1877
Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894), Le Parc Monceau, oil on canvas, 1877

The park is unusual in France due to its "English" style: its informal layout, curved walkways and randomly placed statues distinguish it from the more traditional, French-style garden. It includes a collection of scaled-down architectural features, or follies — including an Egyptian pyramid, a Chinese fort, a Dutch windmill, and Corinthian pillars. A number of these are masonic references, reflecting the fact that Philippe d'Orléans was a leading freemason. Parc Monceau includes statues of famous French figures including Guy de Maupassant, Frédéric Chopin, Charles Gounod, Ambroise Thomas, Alfred de Musset, and Edouard Pailleron.

Today, the park has play areas for children and remains very popular with local residents and their families. The site is an active free Wi-Fi area, for computer users looking for Internet access.

Parc Monceau is open daily from sunrise to sunset, with extended hours in the summer months. There are nine gated entries that are monitored by a fifth-generation park watchman who lives above the royal rotunda at the north entrance.[citation needed] The park is listed as grade II semi-private and the six private residences located directly on the park have twenty-four-hour access to the grounds.

Access

The entrance to Paris Métro station Monceau is located at the park's main entrance on Boulevard de Courcelles.

See also

Bibliography

References

  1. ^ Jarrassé, pg. 77
  2. ^ a b Jarrassé, pg. 76.
  3. ^ Jarrassé, Grammaire des Jardins Parisiens, pg. 78.
  4. ^ Jarrassé, Grammaire des Jardins Parisiens, pg. 81.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 August 2018, at 14:31
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