The Buttes-Chaumont Park (in French, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont) is a stunning public park located in the northeast of Paris. It’s part of the 19th arrondissement, one of the most eclectic areas of the city, known for its high number of immigrants from different origins.
Inaugurated in 1867, the Buttes-Chaumont Park is one of the largest parks in the French capital, covering almost 25 hectares. Here, you can venture through endless hills and winding paths, visit a rocky island in the middle of an artificial lake and even cross a suspension bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel!
So, do you want to know How To Visit The Buttes-Chaumont Park In 2022? Keep reading!
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Brief History of the Buttes-Chaumont Park
During the reign of Emperor Napoleon III (1852-1870), the city of Paris was the target of a megalomaniac urban reform program, which became known as the “Haussmann Renewal”. It takes its name from Georges-Eugène Haussmann, who was largely responsible for this dramatic transformation of the French capital.
In 1860, the 19th and 20th arrondissements were annexed to the city and Georges-Eugène Haussmann decided that these areas further away from the center also needed public parks. That’s why he hired the engineer Adolphe Alphand, who designed (or helped to restore) countless green spaces in Paris:
- Bois de Boulogne, in the 16th arrondissement
- Bois de Vincennes, in the 14th arrondissement
- Jardins des Champs-Elysées, in the 8th arrondissement
- Jardins du Trocadéro, in the 16th arrondissement
- Parc Monceau, in the 8th arrondissement
- Parc Montsouris, in the 14th arrondissement
- Square des Batignolles, in the 17th arrondissement
- Square du Temple, in the 3rd arrondissement
Work on the Buttes-Chaumont Park began in 1864 and required the effort of hundreds of workers. For three years, they shaped the terrain, excavated a lake, and carved out slopes to create a cave, two waterfalls, and even a dizzying hill on an island!
In addition to Adolphe Alphand, Emperor Napoleon III and Baron de Haussmann counted with important contributions from Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps (a horticulturist and landscape architect, named chief-gardener in the Paris Urban Reform) and Gabriel Davioud (the city chief-architect chief during the same period).
The Buttes-Chaumont Park opened on April 1st, 1867, on the opening day of the Exposition Universelle de Paris. Since then, it has become one of the most frequented public parks for Parisians, especially in the hottest months of the year!
How to Get to the Buttes-Chaumont Park
The easiest and fastest way to get to the Buttes-Chaumont Park from the center of Paris is by metro. This is because the public park is served by lines 5 (Laumière station) and 7bis (Buttes Chaumont or Botzaris stations).
Since the Buttes-Chaumont Park has several entrances, you can choose any of these subway stations. In addition to the main access via Place Armand-Carrel, there are five other gates (Porte Bolivar, Porte de la Villette, Porte Secrétan, Porte de Crimée, and Porte Fessart) and seven secondary entrances.
If you prefer to travel by bus, you can choose any of these lines: 48, 26, 60, 71, or 75!
Opening Hours & Ticket Prices
The Buttes-Chaumont Park is open every day of the year, from 7 am to 10 pm (from May to September) or from 7 am to 8 pm (from October to April). Access is free and the park has four zones with free Wi-Fi.
Although there are three restaurants (Pavillon du Lac, Pavillon Puebla, and Rosa Bonheur) and even small kiosks inside the enclosure, you can always grab a picnic and eat in the middle of nature!
What to See at the Buttes-Chaumont Park
Lac du Belvédère
The Lac du Belvédère is an artificial lake that occupies 1.5 of the 25 hectares that make up the Buttes-Chaumont Park. Its name can be translated as “Viewpoint Lake” since the Île du Belvédère (ie, “View Island”) itself is an authentic observatory of this area of the French capital!
If you walk around the Lac del Belvédère, you’ll find groups of Parisians strolling, having a drink on the garden benches, or simply resting on the lawns along the banks. The Buttes-Chaumont Park is also very popular among families with children, who love to watch the dozens of ducks and geese that live here!
Île du Belvédère
The Île du Belvédère is the “heart” of the Buttes-Chaumont Park. Surrounded by a huge artificial lake (the Lac du Belvédère), this rocky island was conceived from an old gypsum and limestone quarry, which used to exist on the site!
For several years, the Buttes-Chaumont Quarry provided the raw material for the construction of many buildings in Paris. However, its activity ceased in the second half of the 19th century, when natural resources ran out.
Temple de la Sibylle
The Temple de la Sibylle is the most famous element of the Buttes-Chaumont Park. Did you know that its name is a tribute to the Sibyls, the prophetesses, and oracles of ancient Greece?
Built on top of a cliff on the Île du Belvédère (about 50 meters above the Lac du Belvédère), the Temple of Sibyl serves as a lookout point, offering unobstructed views over northeastern Paris.
The Temple de la Sibylle was designed by French architect Gabriel Davioud, who drew inspiration from the Temple of Vesta (a temple in the Italian city of Tivoli). Interestingly, this Roman monument inspired other temples in Europe, including the Temple de l’Amour in the gardens of the Petit Trianon in Versailles!
The Passerelle du Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is an iron suspension bridge that connects the Île du Belvédère to the rest of the enclosure. Designed by Gustave Eiffel, it’s almost 65 meters long and stands 8 meters above the lake’s waters.
There’s a second bridge on the other side of the island, which is smaller (about 12 meters) but much taller (more than 22 meters above the Lac du Belvédère). Made of masonry, it was nicknamed the “Suicides Bridge” after a series of fatalities!
The Grotte du Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is a grotto created from the old quarry. Located in the southern part of the enclosure (a few meters from the “Suicides Bridge”), it’s one of the many artificial structures that make up this park.
Approximately 20 meters high and 14 meters wide, the Grotto of the Buttes-Chaumont Park was decorated with fake stalactites and equipped with a waterfall. This waterfall is powered by hydraulic pumps, which bring water from the river to the site.
There’s another artificial waterfall situated at one end of the lake. This one is relatively smaller and is out in the open, being very popular in summer.
As you can see, the Buttes-Chaumont Park is an excellent example of romantic landscape architecture. Inspired by the English gardens of the 18th and 19th centuries, this “green lung” of Paris is the perfect place to relax and enjoy life!
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