25 hectares of greenery, in Paris! And yet in the Middle-Ages, the place was a desolate and wild land, where stood the famous gibbet of Montfaucon... Gibbets which stayed here until 1761... and disappeared during the Revolution. Meanwhile the hill was still uncultivated! But emperor Napoléon III decided to create a park, a real paradise for poor people and working class.
Let’s go! The building site began. They levelled bumps, filled hollows... hundreds of horses and thousands of workers carried fertile earth along, since La Villette and Belleville. Engineer Jean-Charles Alphand (who laid out park Monceau, Montsouris and the bois de Boulogne) and landscaper Barillet-Deschamps managed the site.
A 2 hectares lake was created in the middle of the park. Waterfalls, bridges, temple of the Sybil on its 50 metres high rock, vast alleys... Finally, the park was inaugurated on April 1th 1867, for the Universal Exhibition!