- 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 Carmontelleto 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 Thomasand Edouard Pailleron.
French revolutionof 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 parachutejump, when André-Jacques Garnerinjumped 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 IIIon 13 August 1861.
It was the site of a massacre in 1871 following the formation of the Commune. The
Versaillestroops 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 Monetpainted a series of three paintings of the park in the spring of 1876. He painted two further paintings of the park in 1878. Hector Berliozwas 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-Fiarea, for computer users looking for Internetaccess.
The entrance to
Paris Métrostation Monceau is located at the park's main entrance on Boulevard de Courcelles.
List of parks and gardens in Paris
* [http://paris1900.lartnouveau.com/paris08/parc_monceau.htm Parc Monceau] — current photographs and of the years 1900.
* [http://www.parcmonceau.org/ Les amis de Parc Monceau - Friends of Parc Monceau]
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