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Walk like a Parisian…

November 11, 2010

What nicer thing to do on an Autumnal Sunday in Paris than to walk along what is effectively a garden path, enjoying the Autumn colours and a variety of architecture all around. It seemed that lots of Parisians were out doing the same thing as us, brushing through the crunchy fallen leaves before the cold winter rains take over.
Running from behind the Bastille Opera to the Porte Dorée on the edge of Paris, the Promenade Plantée is a 4.5 km raised walk in the 12th arrondissement of Paris. Using a 19th-century railway viaduct abandoned in 1969, it was later converted into a park. The old train terminus was on the site of the Opera at Bastille.

[The Opera Bastille was constructed to commemorate the Bicentennial of the storming of the Bastille in 1789, and was inaugurated on the 13 July 1989. If you would like to get to see a performance, try going to the ticket office on the day. Reserving in advance is normally necessary at least a month or two before, but on the day you can sometimes be lucky.]

The promenade was designed by two architects, Jacques Vergely and Philippe Mathieux. Work started in 1987 and the present day park was completed in 2000. Whilst pedestrians walk though gardens, at ground level there is also a way designated for cyclists. Right at the end of the trail, the two paths converge and continue into the Bois de Vincennes.


I love it at any time of year, there is always something different to see. I also like the great variety of buildings you go past, it’s like a stroll through time from classic Haussmannian thru to really modern glass filled structures. I hope you’ll like this selection of photos where I’ve tried to illustrate the variety.



Along the Avenue Daumesnil and up to the Jardin de Reuilly (see my earlier blogpost on FizzyWater Fountains http://bit.ly/bo1vZO), the arcades beneath the viaduct have been transformed into arts and crafts studios. This section is known as the Viaduc des Arts. It’s worth a poke around too if you have time.

On arrival at the Porte Dorée you can either go take the Metro, go into the Bois de Vincennes a large park on the outskirts of Paris, or you could visit the Museum of History & Immigration in France at Le Palais de la Porte Dorée, 293 Ave Daumesnil. This is a museum that traces a fascinating two centuries of immigration in France, and seeks to recognise their place in the building of modern day France.

It also has a nice café in case you need refreshment!

One last address to give you (that I have yet to check out personally) is one of the few Paris hotels to have been actively doing something to reduce their carbon footprint. It is the 2* Hôtel de la Porte Dorée – 273, avenue Daumesnil – 75012 Paris.

In the next few weeks look out for my review of all the independent hotels in Paris that have already shown their green worth by obtaining an officially recognised environmental label.

Let me have any other feedback please in the comments section below !!!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. John Rodenbeck permalink
    November 11, 2010 11:18 am

    The concept is super and everything in this presentation looks terrific. We had no idea that such a walk existed and will certainly do it the next time we are in Paris.

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