Bercy Park (Parc de Bercy) is a modern park with history, which will be appreciated by people who know how to discern splendor in simple forms. Rectangular in plan, with straight alleys intersecting at right angles, a diamond-shaped fountain and square flower beds, Bercy Park would be an ideal resting place for mathematicians. But the imagination of three talented architects managed to give a new sound to simple geometric shapes, which is growing and bewitching the eyes of park visitors as they walk from west to east!
The park's grape past
The Bercy Park, located on the banks of the Seine, was also an equally famous place in the past. Since the 13th century, vineyards have been growing here, from the harvest of which they produced excellent wine worthy of the king himself!
Until the 20th century, the Bercy area was famous as the main place for the wine trade in Paris. In memory of such a worthy past, the park received its second name - "Park of Memories", and also retained many sights associated with it.
With the development of rail transport, the Bercy region is gradually losing its superiority in the wine business, and in 1987, the Paris authorities wanted to set up a park here. The winner was a project by three avant-garde architects Bernard Le Roy, Jean-Pierre Fougasse and Marlene Ferrand, who proposed to combine gardens from different historical eras using modern approaches to landscape art.
The grand opening of Bercy Park took place in 1997.
Walk from prairie to vineyards
It is better to start exploring the park from its western side, where there is a large modern sports complex, which from the side of the embankment resembles a large bird with spread wings, and its sloping walls are covered with a green lawn!
On the square on the east side of the complex, visitors are greeted by an unusual diamond-shaped fountain-waterfall. It looks like a large body of water, in which the water does not rise up, but flows deep down along the relief "rocks".
Then the "prairies" begin - vast green lawns, occasionally shaded by the crowns of century-old trees of the "grape" era. Numerous shops and gazebos invite travelers to take a break from the hustle and bustle and reflect on the eternal. And the kids will not pass by the carousel hidden behind the trees near the left alley.
As you move to the east, the relief of the park becomes more complicated, and the vegetation becomes denser. The space of the next zone, like a labyrinth, is divided into small areas, separated from each other by hedges, brick walls and even mounds. Here you can find a greenhouse, an orchard, a vegetable garden with cute scarecrows, and ... a vineyard!
Visitors cross two bridges to another part of the park - a romantic one. A water channel, surrounded by a pergola entwined with greenery, leads to a large round pond. In its center, on an island, stands a real wine merchant's house, preserved from past centuries. Intricate flower beds, a birch grove, bridges, a gazebo on the water, a multi-tiered flower garden create a romantic atmosphere where every couple in love wears a secluded place.
And the culmination of the walk will be a survey of Bercy Park from the height of a cone-shaped artificial hill, leading to which a spiral path!
Address: 128 Quai de Bercy, Paris 75012
Metro: Bercy, Cour Saint-Émilion
Run time: 8:00-19:30