Hidden Paris

La Petite Ceinture railway line which at one time encircled Paris, has been disused since the 1980’s. Following an initiative to create an urban park 9 sections have been opened to the public. Part of the aim was to create biodiversity within the city. These are public parks, so they have opening and closing times which vary with the season.

I visited “La Petite ceinture in the 14th arrondissement”. This is by far the best one, with lush vegetation and artworks along the way. It is part of an urban walk which then extends on the surface to the Parc Georges Brassens.

You need to know the access point, which is 124 avenue du Général Leclerc, near Porte d’Orleans. The exit, if you are walking East to West is at 96 bis rue Didot. The latter is marked on my Google maps as an entry/exit. There is a gate and steps down to the track which may be hard to spot.

If you fancy extending your walk into the 15th arrondissement, there is an urban park route which begins close to the rue Didot at the Jane et Paulette Nardal Garden and continues to Playground Square August Renoir. After this you need to cross under a main railway line. It is about a 10 minute walk to the park entrance. You may need to use Google maps or similar for this bit of the route.

The park is the site of a former fish market, horse market and slaughterhouse. Some of the old buildings are preserved. There is a book market in one of the old structures. The Monfort Theatre just at the edge of the park on Rue Brancion, has an unusual architecture which could surely yield some interesting photos.