Acclimatization Garden In Paris

Acclimatization Garden In Paris
Acclimatization Garden In Paris

Video: Acclimatization Garden In Paris

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Video: Париж - ACCLIMATION GARDEN - Jardin d'Acclimatation 2023, February
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Having barely passed the last houses and saw in front of me the outskirts of the Bois de Boulogne, I suddenly came across two very narrow railway tracks, which scattered in different directions. The riddle of the intricate road was solved in a few minutes by itself. After walking a few tens of meters, I saw a sign with the inscription "Little train of the acclimatization garden", and outside the garden gate there was a shed with the sign "Acclimatization garden station", under which the open cars of a real miniature railway were hidden. This train is familiar to many generations of Parisians, as it has been carrying passengers on this route since 1879. This was followed by a warning: “Train movement is a priority! Drivers and passengers, be careful!"

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In late autumn, the railway stops working, so I found the rails strewn with autumn leaves. At the entrance to the garden I was greeted by a whole line of busts of Napoleon III of inconceivably bright colors.

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To create this garden, Napoleon III allocated 20 hectares of the Bois de Boulogne. The emperor wanted to create a landscape park on the model of the English Hyde Park, which he liked, making it the center of entertainment for the townspeople and at the same time relieving the Paris zoo, which was in dire need of new squares. The development of the project was entrusted to a brilliant ensemble of architects: engineer J.-Ch. Alfan, landscape designer J.P. Bari-Deschamps and the architect G. Davue under the leadership of the prefect of the Seine, Baron Haussmann, famous for his transformation of Paris. The Acclimatization Garden was opened on October 6, 1860, becoming the first amusement park in Europe.

The acclimatization garden in the 19th century
The acclimatization garden in the 19th century

The acclimatization garden in the 19th century

Plan of the Zoological Garden of Acclimatization in 1862
Plan of the Zoological Garden of Acclimatization in 1862

Plan of the Zoological Garden of Acclimatization in 1862

The director was appointed the son of a zoologist, familiar to us from biology textbooks - Isidore Geoffroy de Saint-Hilaire, who inherited from his father a passion for systematization. He aspired to create an Animal Acclimatization Garden, which would allow to distribute, adapt and tame various species of animals, as well as to acquaint visitors with the stages of development of the culture of individual peoples, while drawing parallels with the development of flora and fauna of the region.

If you come to Paris with children and are solving the problem of where to go with your child so that he does not get bored, then you have the opportunity to have fun, beautiful and useful time in the Parisian Garden of Acclimatization. One has only to take the metro and get to Les Sablons station (line 1) and walk 150 m down the quiet La rue d'Orleans street to the Bois de Boulogne and the entrance to the Garden.

At the entrance to our left, there are two playgrounds for outdoor games - one for toddlers, the other for children over 10 years old. To the right of the entrance is a small, almost toy train station, past the tracks of which we recently passed. Arriving at the park at the end of October, we found the entire train at the park station, and the brave peacock chicks, led by their mother, bravely overcame the narrow-gauge rails.

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Opposite the station is the Kizo House, an authentic wooden Japanese house from 1863 from the province of Nagano. It was donated to the Acclimatization Garden by Japan as an example of traditional Japanese dwelling. The house was carefully dismantled, transported and assembled in the park.

House of Kizo
House of Kizo

House of Kizo

The tiles are pressed with long slats and rather large boulders every meter and a half. From this, the roof resembles a rock garden. The house is raised 30-40 cm from the ground on support beams, which rest on boulders firmly dug into the ground, so from a distance it looks like the house stands like a caterpillar on many thin legs in stone slippers.

House of Kizo
House of Kizo

House of Kizo

House of Kizo
House of Kizo

House of Kizo

Behind the glass partitions, you can see the interior furnishings typical of a Japanese home. A mirror fixed in the back of the yard gives the impression that the house is inhabited. Walking around the house and looking into the glazed windows and openings of doors and aisles, you can get an idea of ​​the setting of a traditional Japanese house of the 19th century, household items, and tools. Attention is drawn to objects unusual for Europeans: devices for writing and drawing on long scrolls, a hearth buried in the floor in the middle of the room with a cauldron and a kettle, and a complete lack of heating. For heating, the Japanese used a low table, which was placed over the coals of the hearth and covered with a blanket. Keeping warm, the whole family gathered literally under one blanket near the table, thrusting their feet under it.

A tiny Japanese garden near the house also helps to create a corner of national culture. Conciseness, grace and attention to detail: a little grain and a bright decorative spot of the palm-shaped maple. In front of the house there is a hedge of berry yew bushes, the intervals of which are covered with tinted wood chips. It serves as the border between Japanese history and modernity.

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Various types of heathers are placed on the lawns of the garden. I also met a huge, under 2 m high, bush of Indian lagerstroemia (Lagerstroemia indica), identified by me by the inscription on the plate. It would be nice to see him in the spring, when the flowering bushes are especially decorative. Most of the plants have plaques with the names of the plants in French and Latin, indicating the age of the plants.

Heather
Heather

Heather

Sophora japonica trees, which are quite rare in Europe, grow throughout the park, and they were planted 20-30 or more years ago, and the trees feel great. Near one of the sophorae there is a sign: "Sophora with the smell of honey (Sophora japonica), 30 years old." Such explanations are very interesting and informative for children. The selection of plants is diversified by southern species such as large-flowered magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) and berry yew (Taxus baccata). Planted 60 years ago, they have perfectly adapted here.

Sophora Japanese
Sophora Japanese

Sophora Japanese

Magnolia large-flowered
Magnolia large-flowered

Magnolia large-flowered

Yew berry
Yew berry

Yew berry

Yew berry
Yew berry

Yew berry

No one will be able to walk past the Enchanted River: it occupies a central place in this part of the park, and you will inevitably see the figures of African animals, turning towards boats sailing along the river.

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Since 1860, the waters of the Enchanted River have flowed along a narrow meandering channel 872 m long and 75 cm wide, laid by the landscape designer Bari-Deschamps. To move boats along the river, they use the mechanism of a waterfall and a mill inscribed in the river bed in 1927, which since then has maintained a constant water flow with a height of 30 cm.

Bed of the enchanted river
Bed of the enchanted river

Bed of the enchanted river

Mill
Mill

Mill

Bypassing the Enchanted River on the right, we go out to a corner full of various children's attractions. Children of any age can find here entertainment to their liking: carousels, a train in the form of a Chinese dragon, a swing, a playground with crooked mirrors. On a hot summer day, you can let your child run under the chamomile fountain. Cheerful children's laughter never stops in this part of the park. Everything is very tight and compact. Next to the playground is the entrance to the children's theater of the Acclimatization Garden. On Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, you can watch a musical comedy for children.

Amusement area
Amusement area

Amusement area

Amusement area
Amusement area

Amusement area

Curved mirror area
Curved mirror area

Curved mirror area

Entrance to the Acclimatization Garden Theater
Entrance to the Acclimatization Garden Theater

Entrance to the Acclimatization Garden Theater

After passing the sites with attractions, we go to the Kitchen Garden and the Big Aviary. The kitchen garden is designed to help young children become familiar with plants for food. Its beds are located next to the Great Aviary, which contains pheasants, pigeons, partridges and many different species of parrots from wavy to medium and large in cages. The central place in front of the enclosure is the rose garden.

Originally, the Acclimatization Garden was intended for animals and birds. At present, the functions of the zoo have been reduced, giving way first to a botanical garden, and later to a center for the cultural development of children, the purpose of which is to foster a sense of unity with the surrounding nature and responsibility for its condition.

Let's return for a few minutes to the Big Aviary. It has a long history dating back to the siege of Paris in 1870-71. and which laid the foundation for the special affection of the French for pigeons.

Foreseeing the siege of the capital after the defeat at Sedan on September 1, 1870, Emperor Napoleon III ordered to prepare the city for the blockade: to create food supplies, to take out valuable animals from the Garden of Acclimatization and to ensure the operation of alternative communication channels. It was decided to evacuate the most valuable animals from the Acclimatization Garden to the zoos of the province and neighboring friendly powers. But the transportation of animals was disrupted due to the termination of the railway connection. The siege of Paris lasted 135 days until January 28, 1871. During the siege of Paris, many of the zoo's animals were eaten.

10 days before the start of the siege, 1,500 carrier pigeons were delivered and placed in the Acclimatization Garden under the supervision of two pigeon breeders called up to serve. The complete encirclement of Paris was followed by an information blockade. Telegraph lines were cut off, balloons and pigeon mail were the only channels of communication between the besieged capital and the provinces. When the siege began, Parisian carrier pigeons were sent to neighboring cities in balloons, returning home with letters for the Parisians. This is how the first state pigeon mail line between Paris and Tours appeared.

Production of balloons for mail in the premises of the Orleans station
Production of balloons for mail in the premises of the Orleans station

Production of balloons for mail in the premises of the Orleans station

At this critical moment, photographer Rene Drago invented the technology of microfilm, each containing up to 3,000 messages. They were sent by pigeon mail and were even called at first "golubegrams". The first “pigeon post office” was equipped in Paris, where microfilms were decoded. Any citizen could use the services of pigeon mail by sending a message and paying for it like a telegram at 50 centimes per word.

The Prussians responded with a ban on keeping carrier pigeons on pain of death and intensified pigeon hunting in the vicinity of Paris with the help of archers and falcons specially brought from Germany. Then they began to supply the pigeons with a whistle that made a sound during flight, which scared off predators. During the siege, only 73 pigeons were able to transmit 150 thousand official and up to a million private dispatches, and there were much more carrier pigeons in total. Since then, pigeons have become a symbol of peace and freedom in France and enjoy special respect and love of the French. After the war, a monument was erected to the carrier pigeon.

The introduction of pets and birds continues at the Little Norman Farm with a real well and barnyard. Geese and ducks lead their usual rural way of life here, independently going up the hillside to the pond below and returning in the evening. In the barnyard, you can feed goats and rabbits, or watch a horse harness.

On the way to the Little Farm, there are seven wooden hives, where hundreds of thousands of bees live. The life of bee colonies serves as an indicator of environmental safety and contributes to the maintenance of a healthy state of the park's flora. Every year, 140 kg of honey is collected at the apiary, which lovers of sweets can taste by purchasing jars of local honey in the boutique.

We cross the bridge over the canal, which unites the system of ponds and is favored by domestic water birds from the farm, and we find ourselves near the Empress Belvedere. Here we have at our disposal a whole hectare of meadows and forests with Scottish spruce, black ash, birch, poplar and scenic views. The landscapes are well thought out and organized here.

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Even in late autumn, you will be able to admire the bright colors, fruits and late flowering here.

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The decorative apple tree Everest (Malus Everest, 15 years old) stands all strewn with apples, a plate indicating the name of the species and age suggests that the plants in the garden periodically change and renew.

Apple tree Everest
Apple tree Everest

Apple tree Everest

Apple tree Everest
Apple tree Everest

Apple tree Everest

There are also plants, whose age is approaching the age of centuries: English oak (Quercus robur) 80 years old, horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) 90 years old.

English oak
English oak

English oak

Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba

A contemporary of dinosaurs, Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo biloba), an ornamental tree that has recently spread quite widely in the middle lane, also feels great here. Once upon a time, 50 species of this extinct plant were as widespread on Earth as maples and lindens are now. In the bright yellow foliage, amber seeds are hidden, almost merging in color with the foliage. Gingko is a dioecious plant and only reaches maturity by 25-30 years. By the fall, the seeds grow and become like small yellow plums or apricots, only the smell of rancid oil, which is inherent in butyric acid, discourages the desire to taste them. In autumn, graceful leaves on long petioles and seeds turn yellow and fall off, after which the embryo begins to develop in the seeds. The gingko tree can live for two and a half thousand years, growing up to 40 m in height and reaching 4,5 m in diameter. So our European specimens are still very young.

Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba

Over the years, the activities of the Garden have expanded, increasing the cultural component in its work. Now, in a small area of ​​the Garden, there is the oldest puppet theater in France - the Guignol Theater, the Children's Theater of the Garden, the Museum in the Grass and the contemporary art fund under construction, which will be opened in 2014.

The Museum in the Grass is a unique cultural center where children are introduced to masterpieces of art in an accessible way. Here, everyone can feel like an artist, standing at the easel, change into clothes typical for the time of the paintings presented, try on the role of a sitter, change clothes and assume the pose depicted in the picture, create a still life composition, blind with their own hands a model of individual painted objects or assemble a puzzle with the picture you like. Serious exhibitions by Chagall, Picasso and other artists find new lighting and growing fans here. The Museum in the Grass was opened in 1970 with the aim of acquainting children with the artistic and ethnological heritage of the world. In summer, classes are held on the grass in the museum's kindergarten, and there are studios and circles here all year round for every taste, it's not for nothing that about 100 thousand children come here every year.

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In 2002, the city of Seoul donated the Korean Garden to Paris. The traditional beliefs of Koreans deified the sun and stars, water and trees, mountains and stones. All of these elements must be present in the Korean Garden. A special power among these elements was attributed to stones, which implies the symbolic meaning of placing stones in the garden.

In recent years, the Acclimatization Garden has hosted weeks dedicated to the culture of different countries. In April and May, the selected country presents its culture and traditions through theatrical performances, dances, songs, shows, painting, literature, photography and culinary arts. In 2010, the Year of Russia took place here. Over the years, Parisians have become acquainted with the traditions of Morocco, the USA, China, Korea, India and Japan.

Combining the art of landscape design with modern needs, both for noisy entertainment, active recreation, and the silence of the countryside, makes this park unique. Everyone can find here a corner that suits their mood and needs for relaxation.

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After going around the entire park, we return to the station. The way back passes by the sports grounds. Here you can play golf, ride a pony, take lessons at the Riding School, jump on a trampoline. The time is up, it's time to return, but if your child agreed to leave immediately without hesitation, then you have ended up in another park.

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