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Parc Monceau, which has its start in 1769, is a partially public park located where the three streets of Boulevard de Courcelles and Rue Georges Berger and , Rue de Prony meet. The park, which you can easily visit on day trips in Paris, is more than 20 acres in size.

Parch Monceau gets its start

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The original land was bought by Louis Philippe, who was Duke of Chartres, and Louis the 15th was his cousin. He bought 100 acres of property at the Boulevard de Courcelles and hired Louis Marie Colignon, a well known architect of that time, to create a French style garden with a pavilion in its center.

Between 1773 and 1778, he bought 12 more hectacres in the area and hired the painter, Carmontelle to help him to design his home. The property ultimately held a windmill, minaret, pyramid, Chinese pagoda, Roman temple, waterfall and a pond partially circles by Corinthian columns that are broken into pieces. His neighbors appeared appalled and called it the folly of Chartres.

Sadly, the duke was killed by being guillotined during the timeframe of the country’s French Revolution several years later in 1793.

Parch Monceau further developments

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When the city of Paris built toll walls to surround the city in 1787, they agreed to build a ditch instead of constructing a wall to border the Parch Monceau so it wouldn’t spoil the duke’s view of his gardens. That area is now part of the Boulevard de Courcelles.

The duke also had a rotunda built on the property as an alternative to the normal observation post. It was created via the work of Claude Nicola Ledoux and bordered the Parc Monceau property. The rotunda still stands and is an example of some of the final things remaining of the original structures.

When the duke bought even more land in 1793, he had Thomas Blaikie, who was a landscape architect, create a beautiful garden full of trees and lush lawns that was designed to resemble an English garden and it is considered to be an example of the very first landscaped type gardens in the city and it soon became a place where many parties and festivals were held.

One notable such great event was the first ever parachute jump. It was completed October 22, 1797 when Andre Jacques Garnerin parachuted out of a hot air balloon a little less than a quarter of a mile high in the sky. He then landed in the Parc Monceau garden to the delight of the large crowd watching the event.

Parc Monceau changes hands

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By 1860, Parc Monceau belonged to the city, and they transformed it from a private garden to a more public park like it is now. Napoleon the third inaugurated it Aug. 13, 1861.

Parch Monceau offers much to visitors

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Parc Monceau is an example of the sightseeing options in Paris and offers visitors many beautiful walkways full of flowers, trees, waterways, archways, boulders, cave and grotto, and even some broken roman columns.  Parc Monceau is surrounded by a big fence and it also has gold tipped wrought iron gates.

Its trees are said to be a few of the biggest ones in Paris and one of these is an Oriental plane tree that is nearly 24 feet all the way around its trunk that is estimated to be more than 140 years of age.

There is plenty for the children too, as there are swings and a carousel. Plus, there is a concession stand if you get hungry as well as a small toy store.

Visitors will also see beautiful sculptures of famed men like Guy de Maupassant, which was created by the architect Deglane and the sculptor Verlet. There is also a statue of Ambroise Thomas, which Alexandre Falguière designed and created. There is also a sculpture depicting Charles Gounod that Antonin Mercie designed,  as well as one Leopold Bernstamm designed depicting Edouard Pailleron.  Another statue was added in 1906 in tribute to Frederic Chopin, the musician.

Parc Monceau operating hours is 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. during wintertime and up to 10 p.m. during summertime every day.