The Bois de Boulogne of Paris!!!

So moving right along updating these older posts in my blog and bringing back many nice memories of my travels and road warrior adventures! This is the big one in Paris , good and bad for many things, and yours truly have gone thru it day and night as well as used as my leisure time from work when working across the Seine in Suresnes. Let me tell you a bit more on the wonderful Bois de Boulogne of Paris!!!

As said, I zig zag and walk and drove many times in this wonderful forest , the lungs of Paris indeed.  I like to tell you a bit more on the Bois de Boulogne. Unless you come in daytime, it is wonderful; at night it has some ladies cheering you on all the way!!! My first trip by car here was at around 20h and I believe I counted one in every tree lol! For the tame I am talking about prostitutes.  I used to worked on the other side in Suresnes, so the quickest way was to cross the pont de Suresnes thru the Bois de Boulogne to reach Paris. Oh yes this borders Hauts de Seine dept 92 too , that is where Suresnes is.

There is so much to see and eat and do here during the wonderful daytime hours that it can really filled in a week doing them. I just would concentrate a bit on the history as I am an amateur!

The Bois de Boulogne is a wooded expanse, located in the 16éme arrondissement of Paris, covering an area of 846 hectares. Two and a half times larger than Central Park in New York, and 3.3 times larger than Hyde Park in London, it is however 5.9 times smaller than the Soignes forest in Brussels and occupies only half the surface of the Casa de Campo of Madrid. The Bois de Boulogne occupies part of the site of the ancient forest of Rouvray.

The central part of the forest contains the Bagatelle park, as well as the pre-Catelan garden. Its northern part is occupied by the Jardin d’Acclimmatation, an amusement park ,the Louis-Vuitton Foundation. To the southeast is the jardin des Serres d’Auteil. To the southwest, between the Longchamp racecourse and the Bagatelle Park, is the GoodPlanet Foundation, at the Domaine de Longchamp. The forest has lots of lakes that are all artificial and fed by the waters of the Seine river such as the Lake Superior, Lake Inferior, Lake of the circle of wood of Boulogne (or for skating), Lake of the jardin d’Acclimmatation, the mare of Armenonville , the Mare Saint-James, the lake of Longchamp, the pond of the abbey, the pond of Suresnes, the pond of the tribunes, the pond of Boulogne and the Great Cascade (waterfall).  The forest is traversed by Longchamp Brook, the Sablons Brook and Armenonville Brook or water streams. fyi, some of these written posts on them.



A bit more details of the history of the Bois de Boulogne I like

The Bois de Boulogne is all that remains of the ancient forest of Rouvray, meaning “place planted with Oaks”, which is mentioned for the first time, in 717, in the Charter of Compiègne. The land was offered by king Childeric II to the mighty abbot of Saint-Denis, who built a large number of monasteries.  King Philippe Auguste buys the majority of the forest from the monks of Saint-Denis to create a hunting reserve on the royal lands. In 1256, Isabelle de France, sister of Saint Louis, founded the Royal Abbey of Longchamp.

The Bois de Boulogne takes its name from the Church of Notre-Dame-de-Boulogne-la-Petite (now Notre-Dame-des-Menus Church of Boulogne-Billancourt) which was built on the orders of Philippe le Bel following a pilgrimage that he had carried out with his daughter Isabelle of France in Boulogne-sur-Mer in 1308, while she was going to marry Edward II of England.  On his return, the king decided to raise a church similar to that which he had seen on the edges of the channel and which then housed a miraculous statue of the Virgin (the bolted building was at the site occupied nowadays by the present Basilica Notre-Dame-de-l’Immaculée-Conception). Wishing it near Paris in order to minimize  the pilgrimages, the king upon his return made to search for a land near the capital. It is finally chosen a small village of lumberjacks, Les Menuls lès Saint Cloud. From 1319 to 1320, the first stone of the church is put up, which is endowed with a gilded silver statue, in the image of the Virgin of Notre-Dame de Boulogne-sur-Mer. The church is blessed in 1330 by the Bishop of Paris Hugues II Michel de Besançon.

During the Hundred Years ‘ War, the forest became a den for brigands. After king  François I had built the castle of Madrid (begun in 1528) in the Bois de Boulogne, the spot became a place of festivities. The hunting grounds are surrounded by a wall under Henri II and Henri III, with eight doors. Henri IV  planted 15 000 mulberry trees, hoping to launch a local silk industry. His wife, Marguerite de Valois, once repudiated, withdrew to the Château de la Muette.  In November 1783, Pilâtre de Rozier and the Marquis of D’Arlandes succeeded in the first hot air balloon flight, built by the Montgolfier brothers, from the Chateau de la Muette. During the French revolutionary period, the forest was used as a refuge for people who had been hunted. In 1814 and 1815, 40 000 English and Russian camped there and ravaged the forest, so that under the restoration its reforestation and the restoration of the roads were started under the direction of the Baron d’André to end in 1830.

In 1852, the property of the Bois de Boulogne was ceded by Napoleon III to the city of Paris, which was then responsible for landscaping the green space every four years. The work begins the following year. After the faults encountered by Haussmann, the replacements by the engineer Jean-Charles Alphaned (Parc Monceau, Montsouris, Bois de Vincennes) associated with the landscape designer Jean-Pierre Barrel-Deschamps (landscaper of the park of Buttes-Chaumont) made changes. Only two straight alleys ,Longchamp and Reine  Marguerite are retained by the new team that transforms the Varé River into two lakes, with water retention in Lake Superior, the overflow pouring into the Lake Inferior lake by the little waterfall. A bridge connects the two islands. Between 1855 and 1858, Longchamp’s racecourse was built on the plain of the same name. At the same time, the tip of the forest located south of the Butte Mortemart, between the Rue des Princes in Boulogne (current rue Denfert-Rochereau and Rue des Princes) and the Avenue du Parc-des-princes at Auteuil is arranged by the Duc de Morny as part of a vast luxury real estate operation supervised by Baron Haussmann. During the siege of Paris of 1870, the forest was severely damaged by the Prussian artillery because the French artillery had a battery on the mound of Mortemart. In 1873, the Auteuil racecourse was inaugurated.

As said plenty to do here especially during daytime. The whole family will enjoy it as mine did over the years and still come to have dinner at the Pre-Catalan. There are the  Bagatelle Playground. Park, garden, promenade.etc. Garden of the Meadow Catelan. Park, garden, promenade.  Bagatelle Park-Paris Botanical Garden. Garden of the greenhouses (Serres) of Auteuil-botanical garden of Paris. Park, garden, promenade. Bicycle rental at the entrance to the jardin d’Acclimmatation and at the Lower Lake Pier.  Rent a boat on the Lake Inferior.  More than fourteen dining points in the forest as well as numerous snack bars. Suitable for cycling with its 9.2 km of cyclo-tourist itineraries, and horseback riding with 28 km of cavalier tracks as well as numerous tracks for roller skating. Sublime!

Ah yes how to get to the Bois de Boulogne. By the Metro nearest stations are the Porte Maillot line 1,  Porte Dauphine line 2 and the Porte de Auteuil  line 10. RER: Stations Neuilly-porte Maillot, Avenue Foch, Avenue Henri Martin all on the RER C line. Driving to the Parking Les Boutiques  du Palais,  2 Place de la Porte Maillot , where you can take the petit train into the Jardin d’Acclimatation , or as I always found free parking inside the forest by the pre Catalan Resto or the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Do enjoy it all!

The City of Paris on the Bois de Boulogne in French:

The Paris tourist office on the Bois de Boulogne in English:

Always fun with the family , it is a nice park garden even spent some leisure time here from just driving over the pont de Suresnes find a spot and have a chat lunch with collegues, sublime Paris it will be always eternal! Enjoy the Bois de Boulogne!!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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