When we think of Paris, we think of the cobblestone streets and aromatic cafes by the sidewalk. We think of kissing with our significant other with the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop. We visit the ever grand Notre-Dame Cathedral for art and history, or take a full-body portrait in front of the Arc of Triumph. When you're done spotting those iconic landmarks, we recommend heading over to a not-so-secret, yet not-too-tourist-crowded garden, the Parc des Buttes Chaumont.
The Parc des Buttes Chaumont is an old, Parisian public park built during the regime of Napoleon Bonaparte III in 1867. It was named after the French word for bare hill, 'chauve-mont' as the hill was bare of any vegetation. The site used to be a gypsum and limestone quarry which, during the mining, revealed fossils of mammals.
French LomoAmigo Marta Bevacqua described the area as the best natural place found in Paris. She said:
“You can find the French style, but there are also many trees and a cave which is great. Especially in autumn (all the trees are yellow), you can't miss it. Also, I love having a walk along the Canal de l'Ourcq. Much less touristy than the ‘Saint Martin’ and it seems like you are in Paris and at the same time you're not. You could be everywhere.”
There are many beautiful areas to visit this scenic park: the lake and the Île du Belvédère, which is the heart of the park. The small island is surrounded by cliffs made from the old quarry. On top of it is the Temple de la Sibylle which echoes the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, Italy.
Inside the temple is a vestige of the quarry and gypsum, where you'll find the grotto and waterfalls which is decored with artificial stalactites to resemble a natural look.. There are also two bridges in the park, one is a suspension bridge which gives access to the island in the lake and a masonry bridge which grants access from the island to the southern side of the park.
Of course, the area is filled with diverse flora with over 47 species of plants, trees, and shrubs as well as Asian species, making the park a perfect location for painterly pictures, landscapes and other photography styles.
Got any alternative or offbeat picturesque location recommendations? Leave us a comment below!