Monday, June 12, 2006

Parc de Bercy

A new park on the site of old wine depot. It was designed as a 'garden of memory', recalling the site's history. Old rail lines and stone roadways are incorporated in the design. Vines are grown. There is a potager, a maze, a belvedere, a lake pavilion and a terrace overlooking the River Seine.

Park of Bercy

In June 1994, the first part of this park located on the former Bercy wineries was opened to the public. This space, offered to the public by the City of Paris, was essentially made of lawns accessible round the clock as an extension of the Paris Bercy sports center.
Originally called Vilcena, the Bois de Vincennes is the remains of the ancient wooded belt which surrounded Lutèce.
Formerly part of the Bishopric of Paris, it became the property of the crown in the XIth century. Its borders were at that time more or less the same as today.
The opening
The second phase of the park was completed in autumn 1995 and covers almost five hectares including flower beds and the western part of the romantic garden.

After the completion of the eastern part, the garden reaches its final area of about 14 hectares.

The main elements of the site were preserved when the design of the park was worked out : century-old trees, essentially plane trees and chestnut trees; paved lanes previously used to transport the wine from the river banks to the wineries, four buildings already existing on the site : the Bercy Pavilion, a house of gardening, the lake house and the orangery.
The new park

The flower beds have been arranged in nine gardens at the center of the site according to some of the themes frequent in French style gardens : the rose garden, the labyrinth, the garden of fragrances, the kitchen garden ; they also conjure up the specific feature of Bercy through the presence of vines and trellised vineyards.

The romantic garden is characterized by the presence of ruins, fake mountains and elements of landscape related to the theme of water : canal, lake. It is enhanced by a collection of trees remarkable for their barks like birch trees and mapple trees as well as willows, Norway pines and Austria black pines. The specificity of this garden also results from the fact that it is made up of two parts on both sides of the rue Josph Kessel (former rue de Dijon).

These are connected by two metal bridges in one block (27 meters long, 2,5 meters wide, weighing 15 tons).
The 8 meter high terrace planted with lime trees (trimmed horizontally and vertically so that their foliage would be enclosed in a parallelepipedic volume) runs along the whole park and separates it from the Georges-Pompidou express way. This terrace has been designed so as to be used both as a belvédère over the Seine river and as a phonic screen.

It will enable visitors to walk accross the whole park thanks to a bridge over the rue Joseph Kessel. The turfed slopes and the lanes on two levels, the lawn rising in steps provide a physical and visual transition between the park and the terrace.Etienne Martins' sculpture, "La Demeure X", a bronze structure featuring the meeting of four figures (night and couple) that enfold the tower and the face has been placed at the middle of a stretch of glaucous water along the main access to the park facing the lake house, on the former location of small cascades.
The house of gardening
A house of gardening was opened in the Bercy park.

Pedagogical workshops have been welcoming children from the schools and leisure centers : they learn how to plant and grow tomatoes, patatoes, leeks ...and aromatic plants. They get to know the secrets of the garden where flowers, vegetables, insects and gardeners live on good terms.

Thanks to this place (free entrance), gardening will be made accessible to all the Parisians whether they have a garden or not. The budding gardener like the experienced enthousiast will find all kinds of practical information to take care of their pot plants, to flower their windows or to make unheard-of gardening experiments. The visitors will discover there the gestures, the secrets and the memory of gardeners.

In a small exhibition hall a flower stand -a real miniature garden- will show, season after season, the art of growing plants and flowers on one's window all year long. A library will provide horticultural magazines, books about the art of gardens, plants for the house ... Books and magazines will be available for consultation on the spot. An information service will answer questions from gardening enthousiasts. Finally, initiation courses will be organized for beginners.

Address : rue de Bercy75012 - PARIS

How to get there :Metro : Bercy


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