21.4.10

Parc de la Villette

In the north east corner in Paris you will find a large park, Parc de la Villette. Between 1867 and 1974 this was the site for huge slaughterhouses and the national wholesale meat market, reallocated to the suburbs since. In 1987 the park was opened. On the huge area, in addition to different types of gardens and large lawns, a lot of other attractions can be found.
The “Grande Halle” was the major building and is still there, although today you don’t find hundreds of beef waiting for their execution, but a place open for different cultural activities, expositions… In front of it is the “Fontaine aux Lions” which previously served as watering-place for the cattle; a last drink.
There are few of other original buildings left. A funny detail is perhaps that an ancient clock has been replaced by a “Swatch” version.
The “Cité de la Musique” opened some ten years later with a concert hall, a music museum, exhibition halls, archives…
The National College of Music and Dance (“Conservatoire de Paris”), has its Paris site in one of the park corners.
“Zenith” is one of the biggest concert halls in Paris; some 6.300 seats. When it was built in 1983 it was supposed to be temporary (like the Eiffel Tower), but it still it’s still there and got a number of “sisters” in many French cities.
A major installation in the park is the “Cité de Sciences et de l’Industrie”, Europe’s biggest science museum with some five million visitors each year. One of these days I may make a post on what you can find inside.

The “Géode” is one of the world’s largest geodesic domes, with a “Omnimax” movie theatre.

In front of the “Géode” you can now and then see a barge pass. In fact, the park is crossed by some canals, still in use, leading to (or from) the Canal Saint Martin (see previous post) and the Bassin de la Villette (see previous post).
There are several other smaller theatres, exhibition halls around, but this post is already too long. Maybe just a shot from an ongoing Duane Hanson exhibition.
A number of red steel constructions (“folies”) serve as landmarks…
… bridges, stairs, gangways help you to get around...
… and, of course, it’s a real park with a lot of green space...

… sometimes with some surprising sculptures…
… and a lot playgrounds for kids.
Traditionally, in the neighbor streets, you used to find some of the best Paris meat restaurants. Not much left today.

28 comments:

Simony said...

What a huge park area! Beautiful pictures! I am glad to finally get to know "Le Zenith". Right now I was listening to Chico Buarque, my favorite Brazilian singer, and his CD is about a live show on Le Zenith, Paris. What a coincidence!
The silver dome reminds me of a sculpture I saw in Chicago last week. Thanks for showing us such a great place.

Corine said...

Amazing as always Peter! My kids will definitely enjoy a day at the park, followed by hamburgers ;) Love the dome and the Music college is gorgeous...I adore the architecture in Paris. Looks like a definitely must on my itinerary. Look fwd to your future "scientific" post.

from cali said...

My, you do get around! The playgrounds look like so much fun. What an amazing place. Thanks for the tour. Oh, and Happy Birthday to you!

Thérèse said...

Quelle profusion d'images! J'adore, je me suis bien amusée à tout regarder. Dis-donc, tu as pris du poids cet hiver, ce sont les repas pris avec les blogueurs étrangers venus à Paris? lol
Des lieux que je connais, d'autres que je découvre. Un tout impressionnant et fort sympathique.

Olivier said...

pour ton anniversaire tu ne plaisantes ;o) joyeux anniversaire et j'aime bien l'autoportrait ;) CHAMPAGNE

V Rakesh said...

Very interesting snippets, every single one of them! Thanks for this wonderful treat!

Now, for the more important part - Wishing you a very happy birthday! May this year bring you a great deal of peace, prosperity, good health and take you places far and wide and thus enable you to make some fabulous posts for all of us, your devout blogger pals, to see :)

Have a blast Sir!

claude said...

Effectivement, il y a tant de choses dans ce parc que ton post est long ce matin.
Dans ce parc, il y a des choses qui me plaisent bien et d'autres moins.
BON ANNIVERSAIRE, Peter !
Ca va bousculer pour ABC wednesday !
Passe une bonne journée.

Adam said...

Funnily enough I was there on Sunday, as well as probably a hundred times more people than are shown in your photos!

The fountain here was originally situated on the Place de la République and transferred to this site. It's good to see things reused in such ways, although you rarely see cows there any more...

SusuPetal said...

Amazing sculptures! Cool! That science museum looks interesting, nice if you'll post of the inside as well.

Cezar and Léia said...

This place is magnificent!I see you walk a lot there! :)
Wonderful pictures and collages, congratulations.
I specially loved the pictures of “Cité de la Musique” and "Conservatoire de Paris", it's a place that I want to visit someday!
****ma dernière leçon de fraçais allait les égouts de Paris.Je pense que c'est très intéressant!Comment puis-je trouver ce sujet dans ton blog?Merci!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!Hugs...Hugs...Hugs!!!
Léia

Trotter said...

OH finally! La Villette already deserved a post from you... ;)
And a truly complete one, as usual!!
Did you make the canal trip?

hpy said...

Des chats, cracheurs de l'eau! Il faut tout voir!

hpy said...

En passant chez Claude je me suis rappelé que c'est ton anniversaire! Grattis pa fodelsedagen et PARDON de l'avoir oublié tout à l'heure.

Flo ♪ said...

Bonjour je viens de passer chez mon amie Claude et je viens pour te souhaiter
Un bel et joyeux anniversaire
Bonne journée

☼ France ☼ said...

BOnn anniversaire en espérant que votre journée sera belle
BON anniversaire

Cergie said...

Tu te lâches pour ton anniv, tu fais péter le champagne dans les fontaines ? Je lirai plus tard plus à fond car là je suis à la bourre, faut que je m'occupe des courses pour ce midi et j'ai du monde à partir de jeudi à la maison de plus je suis prise ce WE aussi.
Tu fais la chasse aux acariens qu'on ne te voie plus sauf sur ton blog ou quoi ?
Un an de plus et cela ne se sent même pas, je crois que tu as eu comme un coup de jeune tout d'un coup ça se voit sur ton reflet aux longs cheveux blonds bien brushés (tu es allé chez le coiffeur ? Le même que Sa Majesté ?).
Bon anniversaire Peter Peter !

Katie said...

Fabulous photos! I've only been the this Parc once and hardly saw any of it. Thank you for posting all these photos -- I'll definitely go back in September. (Love the Duane Hanson exhibit; his sculptures are always fun.) Hope you're having a wonderful Birthday in Paris!!

Maya said...

I like that Geode! It's fun to see your reflection in it!

Cathy said...

Your posts are so interesting, Peter, and your photos are great. I'm taking lots of notes for my next trip to Paris. Thanks for all the info.

Le Loucherbeme said...

La viande n'arrive plus sur pied à la grande halle mais sous cellophane dans les restos du coin. Un quartier qui a perdu surement son âme dans sa restructuration.

Néanmoins une remarquable utilisation de l'espace, y'a qu'à regarder ton post.

Catherine said...

T'as mis ta cape, Batman ? Mais le sang ne coule plus à la Grande Halle......

Starman said...

La Cité de la Musique is worth the trip to Villette even if you like nothing else about it. The music musée is fantastic.

Catherine said...

wow there seems so much to see and do here...

Nathalie said...

Waouh, quel post ! Tu aurais pu en faire deux tant il y a de contenu !

J'adore la Villette, c'est vraiment immense avec plein de choses à découvrir. J'avais fait avec des amis étrangers la balade en bateau qui commence au port de la Bastille, fait tout le canal St martin et se termine à la Villette (mais ceux qui veulent peuvent faire le retour aussi s'ils préfèrent). On avait débarqué à la Villette pour s'y promener et aller voir un film à la Géode, j'en garde un super souvenir.

Quand je pense que dans toutes tes photos tu parles à peine de l'espace enfants de la cité des sciences, quel oubli ! Mes enfants y sont allés plusieurs fois quand ils étaient petits, ils adoraient!

Et enfin, last but not least, happy birthday cher Peter.

C'est bien d'être né avec le Printemps, on se revivre à chaque anniversaire ! Je t'ai trouvé rajeuni la dernière fois que je t'ai vu. Ce nouveau printemps te réussit !

Rhi said...

Beautiful as always, Peter. Thanks for sharing. :)

Cheryl said...

So unlike the rest of Paris! We have some gigantic sculptures like that over here in SF. Not a big fan of them. But do like the Duane Hanson sculptures.

Would be fun to see a movie in that giant ball!

ParisBreakfasts said...

Paris has the best lions and the best clocks.
And the best...oh just everything is the best in Paris! what's the use.
Love the REAL americains c/o Duane H.

Deslilas said...

Les quartiers Est de Paris ont aussi leur charme !
N'est ce pas ?