Promenade Plantée, Paris

The Promenade Plantée or Coulée Verte René-Dumont or the Coulée Verte


Created in 1988 by Philippe Mathieux and Jacques Vergely on the former railway line, which linked Place de la Bastille to Varenne-Saint-Maur from 1859, the Promenade Plantée mixes areas of wild vegetation that has sprung up alongside the railway line with more modern landscaped areas. It begins behind the Bastille opera house and runs above avenue Daumesnil to the Jardin de Reuilly: it is the famous Viaduc des Arts. The Allée Vivaldi then comprises the shopping part of the walkway. Then, it continues through tunnels and trenches and ends at Porte Dorée and the Bois de Vincennes. An extraordinary journey along 4.5 km planted with many types of lime and hazelnut trees, climbing plants, rosebushes and other plants. The walk gives you the opportunity to admire various remarkable views of the most modern and typical parts of the 12th arrondissement.

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Address: 1 Coulée verte René-Dumont, 75012 Paris, France

Nearest Metro: Métro: 1,5, 8 to Bastille

Hours: Open everyday. From 8am (9am on weekends) to 5:30pm (winter) or 9:30pm (summer)

Price: Free


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The Promenade Plantée starts at the Opéra Bastille, and goes on for over two miles following what was once part of the old Vincennes railway line. Starting in 1859, the railway linked the Bastille station to Verneuil-l’Étang, but became defunct by 1969. In the 1980s, the forgotten area got a makeover, the train station came down and the opera went up, but what to do with the railway itself? Landscape architect Jacques Vergely and architect Philippe Mathieux turned it into a lovely parkway that was opened in 1993 that established and flourished as the storefronts and neighborhood around it did the same.

Along the former railway line is a wide, tree-lined path with both narrow and wide spaces, some covered, some open. Rising up over the city, open spaces give way to gorgeous views, while enclosed stretches have shops nestled in the arches that were once part of the rail system. Along the path lies the Jardin de Reuilly, the square Charles-Péguy, the square Hector-Malot, and the Jardin de la gare de Reuilly, that features a preserved railway station giving homage to what once was.

At the rue du Sahel, the parkway splits. In one direction, the square Charles-Péguy, which continues on what used to be the path of a branch line once linking to the Petite Ceinture railway–the other leads to a graceful spiral starcase spiraling down to the boulevard Périphérique beltway.


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