February 07, 2008

Jardin du Ranelagh (1)

We are now going to visit a park or garden, which is called Jardin du Ranelagh. This is in an area of the 16th arondissement which goes under the name of La Muette. My kids learnt to bike here; we are close to where I used to live until about a year ago.

The name La Muette refers to an old royal castle which once existed here and the name Ranelagh today given to the park comes from an English lord (see below). There is quite a lot to say about this area and the park, so I will make it in two or three episodes.

First a few words about the disappeared castle. It was originally built during the Middle Ages as a hunting residence (this was then far from the city) and was rebuilt several times, the last time in 1743. Among it occupants you can name Queen Margot (married for a while to Henry IV), the future Louis XIII, the Duchesse de Berry, the future Louis XVI and more especially Marie-Antoinette who spent much time here. The main building was destroyed in 1793, but the wings remained and were occupied until the beginning of the 20th century. One of the owners was a piano manufacturer (Erard) and later his heirs. The great park was sold in parcels, including an important part to a Rothschild, who built another castle (now OECD headquarters) in part of the old castle park. Also the rest was sold and the area got full of bourgeois apartment houses and “hotels particuliers” (private residences). Here below I have tried to compare what the area looked like during the 18th century and what it looks like today. One street, rue de Passy, which today is a busy shopping street, still follows the same trace. I will talk about the railway and the still existing station in a following episode.

We can see that part of what used to be a royal park is still there, now as a public park. Obviously it was here in the outskirts of the park, that Lord Ranelagh opened a “rotonde” where concerts and other amusements took place, sometimes attended by Marie-Antoinette and friends.

Let’s now talk about what the park is today: A nice green area, where children can play, where their parents or grandparents can sit on a bench, and where - depending on generation - you can play football (soccer) or at bowls, go on a pony ride, do roller skating, take a tour on a merry-go-round…and - a nice summer day – do sun bathing and picnicking. There are a few statues, including one of Jean de la Fontaine and one of Victor Hugo.

The day I visited the park last week was sunny, but cold and windy, and the activities were limited. Hardly any clients for the pony promenade, the responsible for the merry-go-round hesitated to install the wooden (sorry, today plastic) horses, the marionette theatre was closed...
… and I made an extra post today, see below!

… and at last, today starts the Chinese New Year, the year of the rat, 鼠 , so Xin Nian Kuai Le 新年快乐 and Gong Xi Fa Cai 恭喜发财!!!


Zhang said...

Merci, Peter, tu es tellement professionnel; même en langue chinoise - C'est une Chinoise qui parle.

Jessica said...

I love the mingling of the modern children's play equipment with the gorgeous old sculptures. It is a combination you are unlikely to come across here. And of course your history provides even more reason to appreciate the park that is there now and all the changes it had to go through.

alice said...

Le charme des beaux quartiers...Et les jardins à Paris, un peu comme les taxis: pas toujours faciles à trouver et en trop petit nombre!

Olivier said...

je trouve que c'est un tres beau quartier, et un peu plus loin tu as le theatre du ranelagh (a une epoque, les petites groupes francais faisaient leurs armes).
c'est bete que le guignol etait ferme, je suis reste un grand enfant et j'adore guignol

hpy said...

鼠 , so Xin Nian Kuai Le 新年快乐 and Gong Xi Fa Cai 恭喜发财!!!

Bon, qu'est-ce que j'ai dit la? Je parle, je parle et je ne sais même pas ce que je veux dire!

Gott nytt råttår!

Peter said...

Merci! Donc, j'ai fait juste! (Merci aussi a Google!)

You have also your history! Maybe not yet quite so long, when it comes to written and illustrated events.

Pour les taxis, nous sommes d'accord (mais je comprends aussi les chauffeurs et propriétaires...)! Pour les parcs, je pense qu'on en trouve, et des nouveaux sont créés.

Peter said...

Le petit théatre continue de présenter des spectacles et des fois quelques vieux films! Un bon sujet pour un post!

Je sais comme tu maîtrises les langues en général, y compris le latin. Tu as encore quelques faiblesses en chinois?
Bravo pour le suédois "råttår"!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post. I liked reading the history of the place and was also fascinated by the smaller photos of the horses being led down the sidewalk.

Anonymous said...

Fine, fine and once more FINE!
I would like to walk there, now, when it`s not too hot and street are not so full of us, tourists . . .

krystyna said...

Hi Peter!
Really it's great time to be here!
I didn't find big photos, but thanks for these small, wonderful combination.
Thanks for historical inform. In by comparizon with today,
I feel much love to 18th.

Have a wonderful day!

I tried to answer for your question. It is my dilema too.
What is the best and why.

krystyna said...

Thanks for inform about
the Chinese New Year!
I forgot, and my daughter-in-law celebrate it.

Mathilde said...

Bonjour Peter,

Une belle page encore, commentée très finement. Je pense qu'il est inutile pour moi de retourner à Paris, je visite chaque jour grâce à toi..

Et puis, Moret sur Loing, 50 minutes de train, gare de Lyon - Tu profites d'une belle journée avec ta petite famille, il y a des petites auberges sur les bords du Loing absolument adorables, une multitude de cygnes et de canards pour Paloma... Suivez le guide..

Bonne journée à toi.

Anonymous said...

Oh, beautiful Jardin du Ranelagh I can see in a large size.
Lovely place.


Peter said...

With a little girl on the back (not Paloma).

Nice to see you back after a short (active) pause! You should wait 3 or 4 weeks, when the spring really starts ... and all the tourists are no yet here. But you are ALWAYS welcome!

I will possibly put some of the pictures on my photo blog whan I have finsihed with the park.

Peter said...

krystyna (bis):
Good that I could be of some help! Have a nice New Year!

Tu peux quand' même venir à Paris: 50 minutes de train...! Bonne journée à toi aussi!

Peter said...

anonymus (krystyna again):
Yes, I guess you can see (only) the top picture in large. Some more to come! Thanks for your interest!

SusuPetal said...

The parks of Paris are splendid, what I remember. Acitivities of all kind, but also peace to sit ang relax.

Ex-Shammickite said...

The activities in the park may be limited at present, but I am sure it's full of life and laughter in the spring and summer. It looks like a wonderful place to learn to ride a bike!

Deslilas said...

Superbe travail !
Paris ce sont les Suédois qui en parlent le mieux.

Maxime said...

Quelle belle leçon d'histoire urbaine ! Un voyage dans le temps autant que dans l'espace.

Peter said...

You are so right!

Yes, let's wait a few weeks!

Merci pour ce compliment!

Peter said...

C'est bien de pouvoir voyager!

lyliane said...

Voilà un endroit que je ne connaissais pas et l'histoire non plus.Le nom me disait quelque chose peut être pour le jardin ou le théatre.
Il y a eu des embouteillages partout dans les grandes villes avec les taxis, heureusemant tu n'en a pas eu besoin ce jour là.
Dimanche dans le quartier chinois il y a le défilé du carnaval du nouvel an, départ à 13h30, au 66 avenue d'Ivry, dans le 13ème.Peut être auras tu la chance de pouvoir y assister et de nous en faire profiter sur ton blog?

Peter said...

J'irai peut-être!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Peter said...

Normally I never delete any comment, but this one came from an unknown source and contained some "funny" buisness proposals.

ruth said...

It's so nice to see the sun, green grass and children in the park. It's beautiful. Paris does parks so well.

Cergie said...

"Ranelagh" cela sonne comme un cri d'agonie...

Peter, je te lirai tranquillement plus tard, je te fais juste un petit bonjour pour le moment
A plus.

Nathalie said...

Que de vert, que de vert ! TU nous ferais croire que Paris est une ville verte ! C'est magnifique !

Noushy Syah said...

Xong Xi Fatt Chai!! yeyy it's the year of rat...:)

Happy holidays to those who celebrating it and it's amazing you knew it Peter!You're an international blogger..

I love the edited pics that you posted today..so colorful and well arranged.Beautiful Jardin du Ranelagh!!Lovely place.

Cergie said...

Peut-être beaucoup de vent mais beaucoup d'ambiance encore
Tous ces équipements, comme le thêatre de marionnette....
Je remarque que tu as su, sur ce post mettre en avant l'unité du quartier qui entoure le parc tant du point de vue spacial qu'historique

Peter said...

Yes, Paris is perhaps not really a green city, but a lot has been the last decades and it's surpring how many smaller or bigger gardens and parks you can find ... and better and better looking!


Voir ci-dessus ce que j'ai dit à Ruth! Je trouve Paris de plus en plus verte et je découvre des petits jardins et parcs. 35 nouveaux ces dernières années!

Peter said...

I have a number of Chinese / Asiaitic friends among the bloggers!

Tu avais promis de revenir ... et tu as tenu ta promesse! Merci!!

Ming the Merciless said...

Thanks for the Chinese new year wish!!

Drama Div@ said...

a lively garden... nice

april said...

You have given a great overview of the park and so much information. I wonder where you get it from. any way, the way you write about it is very interesting because you always compare yesterday and today (not only in maps but in words, too).