Parc Monceau

Parc Monceau

Parc Monceau (/IPA|paʁk mɔ̃.sɔ/) 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 was established by Phillippe d'Orléans, Duke of Chartres, a cousin of the king. He started buying land on which to establish the garden in 1769, and employed Louis Carrogis Carmontelle to design the gardens. He was a close friend of the Prince of Wales, later George IV, and a lover of all things English. As a result, his aim was to create an informal English-style garden in the middle of Paris. By 1778, through successive purchases, the garden had grown to 12 hectares. It became known as the "Folie de Chartres".

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 also includes a collection of scaled-down architectural features — 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. The park includes statues of famous French figures including Guy de Maupassant, Frédéric Chopin, Charles Gounod, Ambroise Thomas and Edouard Pailleron.

During the French revolution of 1793 the Duke was executed by guillotine, and the garden was taken into public ownership. The Farmer's General Enclosure of Paris surrounded the park. At this time, the rotunda was built by Claude Nicolas Ledoux.

In 1797, it 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 garden was purchased by the city of Paris in 1860. Half of the land was sold for the construction of new houses. Thanks to Baron Haussmann, the other half was preserved as green space and became a public park, inaugurated by Napoleon III on 13 August 1861.

It was the site of a massacre in 1871 following the formation of the Commune. The Versailles troops directed by Napoleon III eventually took back the city and slaughtered all remnants of the Communards during La Semaine sanglante ("The Bloody Week"). Parc Monceau, like several other public spaces, was the site of the killing of many of these proponents of the commune.

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.

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

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

ee also

* List of parks and gardens in Paris

External links

* [ Parc Monceau] — current photographs and of the years 1900.
* [ Les amis de Parc Monceau - Friends of Parc Monceau]

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