Walking the Green Belt
A nice idea of something to do if you’ve got no money and the sky is blue…
Get some fresh air. Look up.
In 1969 the decision was made to stop using the Paris-Vincennes railway line, which ran across much of the city. It was decided that the part of the line that had run across the 12th arrondissement on a viaduct was to be kept, and transformed into a walkway surrounded by plants…a Promenade Plantée.
Sometimes it dips down to just below ground level, sometimes it arches over roads and parks. The promenade (aka the Coulée Verte) is still relatively unknown by tourists, and is a lovely way to stroll across south-western Paris without having to stop at a single traffic light, only at the carefully thought-through landscape architecture that changes every fifty metres.
|Mairie de Paris|
Starting at Bastille, the promenade follows a 4.7 km (2.9 miles) path that ends at the Bois de Vincennes (it actually goes further but has been closed off). Until 2010 it was the only elevated park in the world. Since the train line was abandoned, art galleries and workshops have reappropriated the space under the viaduct, and the area is now called the ‘Viaduct des Arts‘.
There’s a parasol/umbrella craftshop that I see every time I go past that I really want to visit sometime. Like, when I have enough money to buy a handmade parasol. And a house in Saint Tropez where I might actually use it.
”The Viaduc is a major centre for the arts and crafts, with fifty craft workers exercising their talent in a variety of professions linked to fashion and decoration. Here, you’ll find lighting manufacturers, furniture restorers, old frames and prints, fashion, jewellery and accessory designers.”
This section of the promenade has the most beautiful roses in springtime. I don’t run, but if I did, I think I’d run here. Oh and thanks for keeping those bins in shot, RachelH. It’s important to know there are bins.