Promenade Plantée

Park in Bastille & Eastern Paris

Image by Credit: Patrick Donovan Getty Images

The disused 19th-century Vincennes railway viaduct was reborn as the world's first elevated park, planted with a fragrant profusion of cherry trees, maples, rose trellises, bamboo corridors and lavender. Three storeys above ground, it provides a unique aerial vantage point on the city. Along the first, northwestern section, above av Daumesnil, art-gallery workshops beneath the arches form the Viaduc des Arts. Staircases provide access (lifts/elevators here invariably don't work).

Waking southeast, look out for the spectacular art-deco-style police station at the start of rue de Rambouillet, which was built in 1991 and is topped with a dozen huge, identical telamones (male figures used as pillars) based on Michelangelo's Dying Slave.

The viaduct later drops back to street level at Jardin de Reuilly (1.5km); it’s possible to follow it all the way (4.5km) to the Bois de Vincennes. This latter section can also be done on a bike or in-line skates. A small section of the former Petite Ceinture railway line is accessible from here, and a larger section is due to open by 2020.


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