Parc de Bercy, Paris

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The public Park of Bercy stretches on the former site of an old wine depot. It is situated in the 12th arrondissement of Paris along the River Seine and between the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy and the trendy shopping precinct of Cour Saint-Émilion. Since its opening in the mid-1990s, the Park of Bercy has become of the most beautiful in Paris.

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The Park of Bercy: a brief description

Benches of Paris © French Moments

Bench in Parc de Bercy © French Moments

The vast green area was once the site of the wineries of Bercy. The storehouses of the large wine depot were closed in the 1950s and demolished in 1979. In the 1980s it was decided to replace the waste land by a huge public park.

A team of architects (Bernard Huet, Madeleine Ferrand, Jean-Pierre Feugas, Bernard Leroy) and landscapers (Ian Le Caisne and Philippe Raguin) worked on the site to make Bercy the 10th largest park of Paris. The new Parc de Bercy was opened in successive phases from 1994 to 1995.

Across the park, a few elements of the wineries that once stood here have been kept as to reflect the history of the place: cobblestone pathways, a few houses and particularly some railway tracks which were used to transport wine from the Seine to the winery.

Parc de Bercy in Spring 18 copyright French Moments

Heron in the park © French Moments

The Park of Bercy covers 70 hectares and is divided into three main sections: the Grandes Prairies, the Parterres and the Jardin Romantique. The park has more than 200 century-old trees, a small folie of the 18th century, several ponds and artistic sculptures scattered across the park. Many birds can be seen in the park, including ducks, herons and European greenfinches.


Le Jardin Romantique

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The romantic garden © French Moments

The Jardin Romantique (Romantic Garden) to the East is separated from the rest of the park by two footbridges spanning Rue Joseph Kessel. It features a hilltop labyrinth and a pond and water meanders where can be find many aquatic plants, ducks, fish and turtles. Hidden behind a screen of oak trees, willows and liquidambars, the Lake House (Maison du Lac) was the former Winery Guards House.

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Bercy Park © French Moments

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Parc de Bercy © French Moments

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In the park © French Moments

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Tortoise © French Moments

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Digitalis © French Moments


Les Parterres

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The flowerbed © French Moments

The Parterres (Flowerbeds) area includes an orchard, a kitchen garden, a scent garden, a vineyard, an orangerie and a beautiful rose garden. The Garden House (Maison du Jardinage) with its French shutters is 18th century old and used to be the tax-office house.

The eastern part of the garden is named in honour of the assassinated Israeli President Yitzhak Rabin.

The Garden House:

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The garden house © French Moments

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The garden house © French Moments

The ‘treilles’ and flowers in May:

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© French Moments

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© French Moments

The Kitchen Garden

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© French Moments

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The kitchen garden © French Moments

The vineyard

Four hundred vines were planted by the City of Paris in reference to the wine industrial past of Bercy. Other vineyards can be found in Paris: in Park Georges-Brassens, in Belleville and in Montmartre.

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© French Moments

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Spring time in France © French Moments

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The rose garden in May:

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Parc de Bercy in Summer 15 © French Moments

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Les Grandes Prairies

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Grandes Prairies © French Moments

The Grandes Prairies (Great Meadows) is a vast expanse of grass lawns which features an old-fashioned merry-go-round. From there the monumental Simone de Beauvoir footbridge spans River Seine to reach the National Library of France François Mitterrand on the Left Bank.

Parc de Bercy in Spring 67 copyright French Moments

The merry-go-round © French Moments


 

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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management.

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