The Parc de la Villette is in the far northeast corner of Paris. It is a 55-hectare park with 35 hectares of lawns and gardens, on the site of the former slaughterhouses of la Villette. They say this is now the largest green space in Paris, and also “a laboratory of cultural democratization where art and society hold a dialogue.”
Two major museums, one for science and one for music, are embedded in the park, along with the Philharmonie de Paris and the Zenith concert hall, two cabarets, two theaters, a pony club and an organization called G.E.R.M., which has nothing to do with germs but is devoted to the study of “Globalisations”, by which they mean “all cultural, social, economic and political processes which are circulated at world scale, despite national, geographic, technological and linguistic barriers.” (As opposed to the more commonly used singular form “globalisation”, which they say merely takes the economic side into account.)
This park is now a real pleasure to cycle to since bike lanes and bus-bike lanes were built along the busiest parts of the Avenue Jean Jaurès at the beginning of the 21st century, and more recently along the Avenue de Flandre.
The Grande Halle de la Villette was built in the 19th century as a slaughterhouse, and in 1985 was turned into an all-purpose space for exhibitions and trade fairs.
The information center is at the south entrance to the park, just off of Avenue Jean Jaurès.
This fountain is also at the south entrance to the park. The building in the background is the Cité de la Musique aka Philharmonie 2.
My photos in this post are from 2006 and 2015. I revised the text in 2020.
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