Batignolles park in Paris


Parc Batignolles (Square des Batignolles) is the most significant natural oasis in the 17th arrondissement of Paris. Due to the consonance of names, tourists often confused it with the nearby Clichy-Batignolles garden, which was one of the reasons for renaming the latter into Martin Luther King Park.

Moments of history

In the early years of the 19th century this area still remained a rural suburb of the capital. In addition to meadows and a few farms, there was nothing else here. The village past of the park is also evidenced by its name, derived from the Provençal word bastidiole, meaning "small farmhouse".

By 1835, the meadow became a public square for residents of nearby villages. At first, the name Place de la Promenade was assigned to it, since every two weeks in August a fair was held, exhibitions of various goods, clowns, acrobats and artists of traveling theaters performed.

In 1860, the village of Batignolles was annexed to Paris, and two years later, at the personal request of Emperor Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann ordered a new park in the English style to be built here. Its design was carried out by engineer Jean-Charles Alfand in collaboration with colleague Jean Dazel, architect Gabriel David and gardener Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps.

One of the tragic pages of the history of Paris is directly connected with the Batignolles park. After the suppression of the Paris Commune by Thiers's troops in 1871, several dozen communards were shot there, whose mass grave is located near the park stage.

In 1894, the park was reconstructed, during which its area was increased to 16,6 thousand m2. During the Second World War, it suffered significant material damage. Many park statues were dismantled and melted down by order of the occupying authorities, the loss of which is still silently testified by the empty pedestals and pedestals.

It is interesting to read:  Archbishop's Bridge in Paris

An oasis of silence

The English Park occupies a slightly hilly territory on which the authors of the project built an artificial grotto, a miniature lake and improved the bed of a stream flowing into it with a waterfall. Among the trees of the Batignolles park, a significant proportion are species exotic for France. As conceived by the landscape designer, this was to demonstrate the success of French scientists in the acclimatization of rare plants brought from distant countries.

The most impressive impression is made by 4 plane trees, the crown height of which reaches 30 m, and the girth of the trunk is 5,9 m. Planted in 1840 and 1880, they are listed in the register of natural monuments of Paris. Among other trees, Byzantine hazel, Japanese persimmon, giant sequoia, purple beech, Chinese matsuda willow, honey locust and lemons stand out. A tiny glass pavilion is built on top of a small rock, serving as a greenhouse for a lone palm tree.

A lake in the Batignolles park has provided shelter for several species of waterfowl. In this quiet place, you can observe the natural behavior of swans, geese and ducks. Since 2010, the garden houses a functioning dovecote, created with the aim of maintaining ecological balance in the city.

Garden sculptures and outdoor activities

Of the former variety that decorated in the 19th - early 20th century. Parc Batignolles of small architectural forms and statues, only two sculptures have been preserved. The first of them is installed in the middle of a decorative lake. It was made by the sculptor Louis de Monard in 1930 and depicts several vultures sitting on a rock.

Near one of the alleys of the park in 1932, a bust of the "prince of poets" Leon Dierks by Boni de Laverne was installed. In 2012, an updated fence with original ornamentation was installed around the Parc Batignolles. A few years ago, the City Hall of the 17th district, together with the CAB association, decided to place a number of works by contemporary sculptors in the garden.

It is interesting to read:  Hotel de Bourvalle in Paris

Batignolles Park attracts children of all ages with the opportunity to go rollerblading or carousel, play ping-pong and on the playground. Adult visitors to the garden can devote their free time to playing petanque and bowling.

Getting there

Address: 144bis Rue Cardinet, Paris 75017.
Metro: Brochant.
RER Train: Pont Cardinet.
Bus: Parc Martin Luther King.
Run time: 8: 00-21: 30.