Another part of the "Petite Ceinture"

I already wrote a few times about the “Little Belt”, the “Petite Ceinture”, the railway that was created around Paris in the middle of the 19th century to interconnect the then newly created major railway stations and also to allow travelling around Paris - before the creation of the metro system. (I already wrote about it e.g. here, here, here, here and here.) Most of it is abandoned, but to a large extent the tracks, the bridges… are still there, awaiting a possible new utilisation.

The other day I made a little walk along part of it, starting at the Villette basin. What I first discovered was that something existed in the vaults under the railway tracks. Well, does it really exist or not? I saw nobody… but there are several Internet sites about “La Vache Bleue” (The Blue Cow) and several coming events are announced (see e.g. here and here). It’s a place for different artistic activities. I have to go back, maybe during the warmer periods of the year.

I found these inscriptions on the walls, which may indicate that the activities are threatened, but found nothing on the net that confirms this fact.   

Following the tracks you will find the old railway station “Pont de Flandres”, open for passenger traffic 1869-1934.

A bit further away, just before the abandoned “Petite-Ceinture”-tracks disappear underground, you can now find the newly opened and almost completed, metro-tram-railway station “Rosa Parks”, serving the partly parallel railway lines connecting Paris with the eastern suburbs. (I wrote about Rosa Parks recently, see here.) The whole area, formerly very industrial, is under reconstruction into a mixture of housing and offices.  


French Girl in Seattle said...

Timely post, Peter. I heard about la Petite Ceinture a few days ago when the police evacuated a ROM camp located near la Porte de Clignancourt. I will have to go and check out la Petite Ceinture in person during my next visit. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this well researched tour! There's a weird sense of charm in those decaying landscapes. They take me back to my childhood. My memory has retained places in the countryside, in my birth country (with a great European influence) that reminds me of what your superb photography shows. Nice to travel back in time. This made my day.

Maria O. Russell

Dianne said...

Within Paris there seems to be many hidden treasures Peter - thank you for sharing these pics and story. I'll be visiting your beautiful city in May and have enjoyed scrolling through your blog & noting the different area of interest which are off the normal tourist agenda.

Shammickite said...

Dianne is right (previous comment) these are indeed hidden treasures. I should love to visit Paris again soon, and visit some of your secret places.