Although I have been living in Paris since I was born I had never visited the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature before last wednesday. Probably because of its name which can cause confusion and let one think that it is a museum dedicated to the art of hunting which will interest only the hunters and the ones who are fond of arms and trophies. In fact this is absolutely not the case!
The Parc Monceau is doubtless the smartest garden in Paris. It is located in a very elegant and upscale neighbourhood in the 8th arrondissement of Paris and surrounded by beautiful buildings and luxury ‘Hotels Particuliers’.
The Parc Monceau was created in 1769 by the Duke of Chartres who entrusted its landscaping to the painter and architect Carmontelle. Carmontelle put there a variety of follies, which were very fashionable at that time: an Egyptian pyramid, the ‘Naumachie’, which is a pond surrounded by Corinthian columns and inspired by the Ancient Rome, greek columns, a sarcophagus,… During the French Revolution the Park underwent huge transformations.
One had then to wait until 1852 before seeing the Park be redesigned as a landscape garden. And in 1861 the Parc Monceau such as we know it today was inaugurated by Napoleon III : Some of the follies of Carmontelle are still there, including the impressive Naumachie ; many trees have been planted and other antiques and sculptures added. Among them a lovely Venitian bridge dating from the Second Empire: one of my favourites!
If you happen to be in Paris during the weekend I suggest you to have a walk along the Seine on the left bank next to the Pont d’Iéna. There, on both sides of the bridge at the river level (Port de Suffren westerly and Port de la Bourdonnais easterly) an extraordinary ephemeral garden has been laid for four days only.
500,000 flowers and more than one hundred varieties of plants have been displayed in colouful harmonious flower beds: white, yellow, orange, pink and purple. And among them eight eccentric metallic sculptures offer recreational activities: a slide is hidden into a cow; a tree has been converted into a merry-go-round for three kids; another cow is hiding ropes and rope ladders, … They are called the ‘Créatiles’ and invite you and your children to interact and play.
As this event has been set up by Yoplait (whose logo is a colourful little flower – ‘la petite fleur’) to celebrate its 50th anniversary, you will also be invited to taste some of their yoghurts: take one, have a seat by the water and enjoy nature sitting between the flowers and the river! I really recommend you this family walk either today or during the week-end as this event is to end on Sunday night.
And on the occasion of the ‘Fête de la Musique‘ several concerts will be given there on Saturday 20th June and Sunday 21st June by six international marching bands!