Near the Jacquemart-André Museum is the Parc Monceau. It’s a very beautiful park but I am seldom there as it’s nowhere near where I live-it’s in the 8th arrondissement. It’s different from most parks and when I was getting ready to post on my visit there I did a Google search and it has a fascinating history. It was established by Phillippe d’Orléans, Duke of Chartres, who was a cousin of King Louis XVI. He decided to created a public park and being a lover of English gardens, wanted it to be similar, full of what are called follies, which are reconstructions of buildings from different ages and countries. He wanted to surprise and amaze visitors. When it was first created there was an Egyptian pyramid, a Roman colonnade, antique statues, a pond of water lilies, a farmhouse, a Dutch windmill and on and on. There were often unusual animals there too, such as camels. In the end, despite being a member of the assembly that voted to execute his cousin, he too became a victim of the guillotine and the park was nationalized.
The park was reduced by half in size and houses of the wealthy were built on the property. When Napoleon III came into power, Haussmann, that great city architect, did a lot of redesigning of the park. In 1871 after the downfall of Napoleon, there was a rising of what is called the Paris Commune which was then crushed and the park was the site of a massacre of the Communards by army troops. (This also happened in Pere Lachaise Cemetery). So, wow, lots of history, right?