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Bois de Boulogne, the fanciest Paris park

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Fondation Louis Vuitton in Bois de Boulogne

Bois de Boulogne is the second largest park of Paris. It features Roland-Garros Stadium, Fondation Louis Vuitton designed by Frank Gehry, high-end restaurants, the Longchamp and Auteuil racecourses, lakes, hiking trails. The 16th arrondissement, the cities of Neuilly and Boulogne bordering Bois de Boulogne, are the fanciest districts in the City of Lights. Paris gardens.

Bois de Boulogne visit

With its lakes, pedestrian, bicycle trails and restaurants, Bois de Boulogne is a 865 hectare oasis on the affluent west side of the city. Fondation Louis Vuitton, designed by Frank Gehry, is one of the greatest sights in Paris.

Bois de Boulogne is open 24/24 and accessible by metro or Velib bicycle. Locate Bois de Boulogne on Paris map.

Paris metro: Porte Dauphine on line 2, Porte d'Auteuil on line 10, Les Sablons on line 1. Bois de Boulogne printable map.

Bois de Boulogne in Paris
Bois de Boulogne in Paris

Bois de Boulogne top attractions

The Bois de Boulogne features top sights including three major sport arenas and a splendid 21st century monument.

Roland-Garros: famous tennis courts
Paris Saint Germain Arena, the Parc des Princes
Longchamp: famous horse racecourse
Fondation Louis Vuitton: a Frank Gehry architecture
Bagatelle: lovely flower gardens
Jardin d'acclimatation: amusement park for children
Bois de Boulogne lakes: lovely lakes, canoes

Bagatelle in Bois de Boulogne, Paris
Bagatelle in Bois de Boulogne, Paris

Roland-Garros

Stade Roland-Garros is a tennis venue complex located in Bois de Boulogne. It hosts the French Open, also known as Roland-Garros, a Grand Slam championship tournament played annually around the end of May and the beginning of June. The facility was constructed in 1928 to host France's first defense of the Davis Cup. It is named for Roland-Garros, a pioneer aviator and World War I hero.

The 8.5 hectare venue has twenty courts, of which three large-capacity stadiums, a restaurant and bar complex.

Roland-Garros in Bois de Boulogne
Roland-Garros in Bois de Boulogne

Bois de Boulogne restaurants

Bois de Boulogne boast three high end restaurants where you can lunch or dine outside when the weather is fine.

Le Pré Catelan: a famous Michelin three stars restaurant. Expensive, but worth it.
Grande Cascade: The 19th century decor and the excellent food go together with affordable menus at lunchtime.
Chalet des Iles: take the boat, land on the island and have lunch at Chalet des Iles, far from the city.

Grande Cascade in Bois de Boulogne
Grande Cascade restaurant in Bois de Boulogne

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Created and financed by the LVMH Group (Louis Vuitton, Dior, Guerlain, Moet & Chandon, Hennessy), the Fondation Louis Vuitton encourages and promotes artistic creation both in France and internationally. In 2006, the Fondation Louis Vuitton commissioned a spectacular monument designed by Architect Franck Gehry and located in Bois de Boulogne. The Fondation Louis Vuitton opened to the public on Monday, 27 October 2014. Fondation Louis Vuitton.

Fondation Louis Vuitton information

Franck Gehry and Fondation Louis Vuitton
Franck Gehry and Fondation Louis Vuitton

Jardin d'Acclimatation

Inaugurated in Bois de Boulogne by Emperor Napoleon III in 1860, the Jardin d'Acclimatation consisted of greenhouses and a village hall covered with a large glass roof. The Jardin d'Acclimatation is now a family amusement park made up of 40 attractions. The view over the Fondation Louis Vuitton from Jardin d'Acclimatation is spectacular. Download printable map of Jardin d'Acclimatation.

Carrefour des Sablons, Bois de Boulogne
Paris 75116 France

Jardin d'acclimatation in Bois de Boulogne
Jardin d'acclimatation in Bois de Boulogne

Camping Paris

Camping Paris extends over 7 hectares along the Seine river in Bois de Boulogne. There are 510 pitches for tents, caravans, camper-vans, rental accommodation. There are a central lodge opening out onto a terrace, a children's playground, shower blocks, a small grocery store, free wifi, a shuttle bus to Porte Maillot metro station.

2 Allée du Bord de l'Eau
Paris 75016 France

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Camping Paris
Camping Paris in Bois de Boulogne

Outdoor sports in Bois de Boulogne

Bois de Boulogne 865 hectares are well equipped for free outdoor sports. Jogging enthusiasts can indulge in fitness in the heart of Bois de Boulogne. In addition to a 14 km long-distance circuit, identical mileage for cycle paths and 28 km of riding paths, running enthusiasts can take a sports circuit.

2,500 m long and equipped with equipment, this 19-stage loop circuit starts at a place called "Carrefour des 5 routes", in the middle of Avenue de St Cloud. You can also start the course from the top of the avenue de St Cloud, very close to the lawn of St Cloud. Get ready for outdoor sports with Globo Surf. Locate loop circuit on Paris map.

Sports circuit in Bois de Boulogne
Sports circuit in Bois de Boulogne

Bois de Boulogne history

Bois de Boulogne was commissioned by French Emperor Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon, as part of his urban renewal project. For centuries, the crown maintained control of the forest of Rouvray on the spot. After the revolution of 1789, the area became the possession of the central government. In 1852, when the Second Empire was declared, the government ceded the property to the city of Paris. Work began on the design of a park. Years of exile spent in England introduced Napoleon III to the English garden style. He resolved to turn the park into an example of his favored style and assigned the task to engineer Adolphe Alphand, under the supervision of Baron Haussmann. The creation of two lakes, ideal for a tour du lac walk, and of the Longchamp Racecourse were two milestones of the project.

Paris history.

Amazon in Bois de Boulogne - Second Empire
Amazon in Bois de Boulogne - Second Empire

Bois de Boulogne detailed history

The Bois de Boulogne, located to the west of Paris to which it belongs, since it was detached in the mid-19th century from the town of Boulogne-Billancourt, whose name it has retained, is the last remnant of the forest de Rouvray, which once extended over the plains and hillsides of the right bank of the Seine, to Saint-Ouen. This forest was for a long time a den of vagabonds and thieves, and in which the ancient kings made splendid hunts. Called Bois de Saint-Cloud after the dismemberment of this ancient forest, it received its current name in the 14th century when pilgrims built a church there dedicated to Notre-Dame de Boulogne-sur-Mer.

A large number of historical memories are attached to this place: the Abbey of Longchamp, of which only a few ruins and two turrets of the buildings founded in 1256 were left by Isabelle de France, sister of Saint Louis; the Croix Catelan, erected, according to a legendary tale, by Philippe le Bel on the spot where Arnauld de Catalan, Provençal troubadour, messenger of the Countess of Provence, was assassinated; the castle of Madrid, built by François II, on his return from his captivity in Spain, demolished in 1793, and of which only a few outbuildings remain; the Bagatelle pavilion, built by the Duchess of Charolais and transformed by the Comte d'Artois into Folie whose delightful park was on certain days open to Parisians; the Château de la Muette, which the Duchess of Berry, Louis XV and Dubarry made famous; finally the Ranelagh, the favorite ball of the Muscadins and the ladies of New Athens. Cruelly devastated by the invasion which put an end to the Napoleonic era, the Bois de Boulogne nevertheless became, in 1830, the meeting place of elegant Parisians. It hardly deserved this honor: its poor vegetation, its straight roads, badly maintained and without horizons made it a walk unworthy of the capital of France.

By a law of June 25, 1852, the State was authorized to cede the Bois de Boulogne to the city of Paris, on the charge by it of carrying out the work there which completely changed its appearance by transforming it into a vast landscaped park, and to cover all surveillance and maintenance expenses. The plans were drawn up, according to the indications of the Emperor himself, by Varé, landscape architect, and completed by Barillet-Deschamps, chief gardener. Alphand, engineer of the bridges and roads, directed the works of art. The expenses made by the city amounted to more than 4 million francs.

This metamorphosis, undertaken in 1853, began with the creation of two lakes, the largest of which measures no less than 19 hectares, including the two islands with an area of ​80,000 m². To give a flow to the waters of the large lake, the Longchamp stream was dug, which, after winding through the woods, formed the Mare aux Biches waterfall and was lost in a 8000 m² reservoir, which feeds the large waterfall . Another stream fed the ponds of Armenonville, Neuilly and Madrid. The water supply to the lakes, waterfalls and streams was ensured by a water supply pipe from the Ourcq and by the artesian well of Passy, ​​completed in 1864, which supplied about 10,000 cubic meters of water per twenty- four hours. The waters of the Seine, raised by the machines of Chaillot, were used to water the upper parts of the Bois.

The work that followed was to transform most of the straight alleys into winding roads, stoned for cars, sanded for riders, and paths in the woods for pedestrians. Nowadays, these alleys are overrun with crowds of cyclists every Sunday. Finally, after having created vast lawns around the lakes, the islands of the large lake, the new entrances to the Bois and the approaches to the main roads were planted with tall trees and shrubs of choice. In addition, for the convenience of walkers, the city of Paris pushed the granting doors to the ends of the Bois.

In this renewal of the oldest and most frequented of the great promenades in Paris, the historical memories it contains have been scrupulously respected: the Catelan cross, the tower and the Lonchamp mill which were carefully restored. Graceful constructions were erected to adorn the different parts of the Bois and one notices the happy effect of the kiosk and the exedra of the islands of the great lake, the guards' houses, the chalet-restaurants and the Chinese Pavilion. of the Universal Exhibition of 1878, given by Marshal Mac-Mahon to the city of Paris. Various concessionaires further increased the appeal of the Bois de Boulogne by creating the Longchamp racecourse (1854) for flat races and the Auteuil racecourse (1873) for obstacle courses. The Pré Catelan, formerly operated by a private company, became, with its pretty park and elegant buildings, one of the most popular places for the public. Very early on, walkers also went to the Jardin d'Acclimatation created from 1858 to 1861 in the northern part of the woods, between the Porte des Sablons and the Porte de Neuilly, which today has a large space for children. The general form of this garden, perfectly suited to its intended purpose, is that of a valley with gentle slopes, the center of which is occupied by a small stream which, at several points along its route, s' widens into pools and is lost in a small lake of a graceful shape.

Finally, the Circle of Skaters, established on the lawn of Madrid in 1865, to bring together all the games of sport and presents a very beautiful appearance when the season allows to give the parties for which it was created. The area of ​​the Bois de Boulogne was, at the time of the cession, 676 hectares, but as a result of acquisitions, exchanges and sales of land, the area was increased to the current figure of 873 hectares.

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