The Bois de Boulogne on the western edge of Paris covers an area of 865 hectares and offers Parisians opportunities to walk, cycle, ride, go boating or picnicking. Baron Haussmann redesigned part of the Foret du Rouvre in the 1850s using London's Hyde Park as his inspiration
The Luxembourg Gardens on the Left Bank are regarded as the most popular gardens in the whole of Paris. The gardens cover an area of 25 hectares and were originally the grounds of the Luxembourg Palace built in 1631. The palace now houses the French Senate.
As the city of Paris grew in the 19th century it began overtaking unattractive areas that had once been beyond the city limits. Baron Haussmann was faced with the dilemma of converting an ugly stone quarry and rubbish dump (which also housed the gallows!) into something more pleasing to the new residents of the area. The landscape artist Adolphe Alphand was tasked with changing this unsightly area into a magnificent park - the Parc des Buttes-Charmont.
This very pleasant and unexpected park in the 19e arrondissement features an island surrounded by a lake, a waterfall, winding paths, a suspension bridge and a Roman style temple on the highest point. Visitors to the park are rewarded with magnificent panoramic views of Paris.
This attractive park in the chic 17e arrondissement dates back to 1778 when the Duc de Chartres (later the Duc d'Orleans) commissioned the creation of a "garden of dreams". Louis Carmontelle, a theatre designer and amateur landscape artist accepted the challenge and the Parc Monceau was the result.
Although many of the original features have not survived, some may still be identified, like the Rysdael Gate (bottom right) and sections of the colonade with its Corinthian columns (top and bottom left). Take the Metro to Monceau.
My blogposts this week will feature the parks and gardens of Paris and I will start with the iconic Tuileries. The photo I have chosen shows the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel which was built in 1805 to celebrate Napoleon's victories in battle. The arch is situated at the eastern end of the Jardin des Tuileries and is frequented by eager curio sellers ... who can resist the temptation to return home from Paris with their own miniature Eiffel Tower?
A visit to Amsterdam would be incomplete without spending time in either the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum or preferably both. The collection of "Old Masters" on display in the Rijksmuseum is breathtakingly beautiful.