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Nov 01 2010

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Escaping from street level

Guest post.

One of Paris’s lesser known (by tourists, anyway) treasures, the 4.5km Promenade Plantée – literally translated as ‘the planted stroll’, and also known as la Coulée verte – is a pleasant walk on the west-east axis of Paris from Opera Bastille to the Périphérique in the east. The section to the Jardin Reuilly is about 2 km. The promenade is elevated above street level on what was formerly a defunct railway viaduct (the railway closed in 1969) of 75 arches. The original red brick arches have been restored, renovated and enclosed with glass. They now house arts and crafts workshops, galleries, furniture showrooms, a restaurant and a café. The walk itself is a tranquil stroll between beautiful garden beds, at an eye-level with third-floor apartments. One can ascend to the viaduct behind the Opera near Bastille(or at Avenue Ledru-Rollin) at the western end. There are other stairs located at intervals.

In the early 1990s, the City of Paris and SEMAEST, Société d’Economie Mixte d’Aménagement de l’Est Parisien, transformed the weed-infested railway line into the Promenade Plantée, although walking along it one would imagine it to be much older.
The design was created by landscape architect Jacques Vergely and architect Philippe Mathieux.

The architects for the Viaduct des Arts were Patrick Berger and Jamine Galiano. The Promenade Plantee was the model for the plan developed by the Friends of the High Line in New York City.

The photo to the right shows a small group of artists completely absorbed in their work. The man in the foreground in the red t-shirt had a tiny palette of water-colour paints which he was using on a very small sheet of paper; all his equipment fitted into a case smaller than an iPad! Just as I took the shot the fellow in the grey jacket ambled with a studied insouciance into the space, making a nice foursome; the artists were so engrossed they looked up at no one.

Below, the complete gallery of my photos from the Promenade and le Jardin Reuilly at the eastern end of my walk. Click to view.

  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly - artists at work
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly - view of adjacent apartments
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly - view of adjacent apartments
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée, Bastille to Jardin Reuilly - approaching the Jardin Reuilly
  • The Promenade Plantée - Jardin Reuilly at the eastern end of elevated section
  • The Promenade Plantée - Jardin Reuilly at the eastern end of elevated section
  • The Promenade Plantée - Jardin Reuilly at the eastern end of elevated section

Permanent link to this article: http://www.escapetoparis.com/2010/11/escaping-from-street-level/

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