NileGuide Expert Says:
A wild landscape in the 19th arrondissement
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
75019 Paris, France
NileGuide Expert tip:
Brave the walk across the high footbridge to the temple
It's difficult to believe this beautiful landscape in north-east Paris was once a quarry devoted to the extraction of gypsum – more commonly known in the English-speaking world as plaster of Paris. Turned into a park during the reign of Napoleon III, it has two main hills, or buttes, one of which is surrounded by a lake and topped by a temple dedicated to Sybil. This prime example of Romantic landscaping is reached by a 22-metre high "suicide bridge" as well as a 63-metre long suspension bridge , but even visitors who prefer to stay on the green hillsides or explore the many kilometres of paths and trails will enjoy extensive views over the city, particularly of Sacré-Coeur. First opened in 1867, the park covers an area of almost 250,000 square metres between rue Manin, Avenue Simon Bolivar, rue Botzaris and rue de Crimée. Only the parc de la Villette and the Tuileries are bigger, though it is certainly the steepest park in Paris. As well as many different and rare trees and plants, it has waterfalls, a grotto, restaurants, guignols, or puppet shows, and other attractions for children.