Guide Tour of the 12th arrondissement of Paris, France

The 12th arrondissement of Paris, also known as arrondissement of Reuilly, is one of the 20 arrondissements of the capital city of France. The 12th arrondissement of Paris is one of the largest of the city’s districts with the 2,460 acre Bois de Vincennes. The district includes the most well-known Bastille, and the famous Gare de Lyon in the 12th arrondissement will likely be the first stop if coming from Switzerland, Italy, or the south of France.

The 12th arrondissement is the easternmost district of the capital. It is located on the right bank of the Seine. Stretching from the Bois de Vincennes to the Place de la Bastille, it offers its inhabitants both a quiet atmosphere and a trendy atmosphere. Except the areas of Bastille, Gare de Lyon and Bercy, the 12th arrondissement appears as an arrondissement located in the suburbs, like the other “external” districts (from the 12th arrondissement to the 20th arrondissement), in fact made up of villages swallowed up by Paris during its extension.

The 12th arrondissement is appreciated both for its calm and for its dynamism at the same time, particularly well endowed with green spaces, and schools and well served by transport, this district does not lack charm and assets. An area with more calm, green spaces and proximity rich educational resources like the Picpus and Nation districts and the south of Bel-Air, the latter being very close to the Bois de Vincennes. In a few strides, you can therefore enjoy the largest green space in the capital, particularly appreciated for its landscapes, the activities on offer, but also the Vincennes zoo which is accessible.

The 12th arrondissement is rich in its differences. Historically, the 12th arrondissement is a district with a commercial and artisanal footprint, in particular with the port of Arsenal where the goods ordered by the City of Paris transited. From the 12th century, rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine became one of the capital’s main commercial thoroughfares thanks to the many carpentry and cabinetmaking workshops in the courtyards and cul-de-sacs.

The district was the site of the first popular uprisings from April 1789, notably on the mythical Place de la Bastille. Today, this great artery is home to many furniture stores and shops of all kinds. Through this walk, from the intimate courtyard steeped in history to the surprising Viaduc des arts via the mythical Aligre market, the village preserved from Parisian know-how and art of living.

The 12th arrondissement is a dynamic and active district. It attracts more and more activity to Bercy Village and Boulevard des Maréchaux. A trendy place for those who like a lively nightlife. Cafés and restaurants stay open very late at night, especially in the Gare de Lyon, Faidherbe and Ledru Rollin districts and around the Accor Hôtel Arena.

Administrative districts
The 12th arrondissement is a family and working-class neighborhood that appeals to young and old alike. It is divided into 4 districts which abound in multiple activities: The district of Quinze-Vingts, Picpus-Nation, Bel-Air and Bercy.

Quartier of Bel-Air
The Bel-Air district is the 45th administrative district of Paris located in the 12th arrondissement. This district is divided in two in its length with the district of Bel-Air Nord and the district of Bel-Air Sud. It goes from the Cours de Vincennes to the Bois de Vincennes and from Saint-Mandé to the Boulevard de Picpus.

To the north, it is a popular district with many social housing units between Boulevard Soult and the ring road. On the other side of Boulevard Soult, a more residential area awaits you. A large part of this district is taken up by the Armand-Trousseau pediatric and perinatal hospital. It has a recognized pediatric emergency service.

To the south, the area is more residential with a mix of old and newer buildings. At the level of the Golden Gate is the superb Palace of the Golden Gate with its large tropical aquarium and its museum of the history of immigration. In summer, an ephemeral terrace is set up there to the delight of the inhabitants who would like to stop there on their way back from the woods. The Porte Dorée market is present on Thursday and Sunday mornings on Boulevard Poniatowski.

Quartier of Picpus
The Picpus district is the 46th administrative district of Paris located in the 12th arrondissement. The part of the current rue de Picpus located between the boulevard de Reuilly and the current avenue Daumesnil, which was called “path of the Red Cross”, marked the limit between the communes of Saint-Mandé (current district of Bel -Air) and Bercy. During the construction of the fortifications of Paris in 1844, this territory is found inside the enclosure and the law ofJune 16, 1859the annex in Paris.

It is a quiet and residential area with lots of local shops. This district also has the largest number of schools per square meter. There are two major hospitals here: the recently rebuilt Rothschild Hospital and the Deaconnesses Hospital with its popular maternity ward.

Rue du Rendez-Vous is known for its good fresh produce sold by local merchants. Market opened on the Cours de Vincennes on Wednesday and Saturday mornings as well as on Boulevard de Reuilly on Tuesday and Friday mornings and finally at the Saint Eloi market on Rue de Reuilly on Thursday and Sunday mornings.

Quartier of Bercy
The Bercy district is the 47th administrative district of Paris, located in the 12th arrondissement. Located along the Seine, this area of Paris is one of the oldest populated. Popular district where historically goods arrived upstream from the Seine, in particular Burgundy wine and Morvan wood, it was radically restructured from the beginning of the 1980s with the construction of the Paris-Bercy omnisports palace in 1984, then of the headquarters of the Ministry of Economy and Finance in 1990.

This district is one of the most dynamic of the 12th arrondissement thanks to its multiple activities which result from it. There are many local shops recent built in the 1990s. You can stroll Cours Saint-Emilion in Bercy Village to do some shopping and end up with a movie, go for a walk to the Cinémathèque Française, you can visit the superb Musée des Art Forains, contemplate the huge building of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry, take part in a concert by your favorite artist at the AccorHotelsArena formerly called the “Paris-Bercy omnisports palace” or take a walk on the banks of the Seine to have a drink on a houseboat listening to music.

Quartier of Quinze-Vingts
The Quinze-Vingts district is the 48th administrative district of Paris located in the 12th arrondissement. This district takes its name from the famous Quinze-Vingts hospital (national ophthalmology hospital) which is located near the Place de la Bastille in the Rue de Charenton. It is the most expensive district of the 12th arrondissement, in the immediate vicinity of the 4th arrondissement and the 11th arrondissement, delimited by the Faubourg Saint Antoine, the basin of the Arsenal, the Seine, the Rue de Chaligny and the Rue Villot.

It includes the Place de la Bastille with its famous Colonne de Juillet, the Opéra Bastille, the famous Gare de Lyon, the Bassin d’Arsenal with its boats and its promenade, the Viaduc des Arts, the René-Dumont green belt which follows an old railway line from Rue de Lyon to Porte de Montemproivre and Place d’Aligre with its large daily market (except Mondays), Rue d’Aligre market and Beauvau market covered. This district is dynamic thanks to its many bars, restaurants, its shops in the Faubourg, its university hospital of Saint-Antoine and its Opera.

Main Attractions
Like most neighbourhoods in Paris, the 12th arrondissement offers a rich array of historically important and aesthetically appealing sites. For the 12th, these sites emerged mainly from developments in the 19th century and from the late 20th century urban renewal projects. The 12th arrondissement is crossed by the busy shopping avenue Daumesnil, bordered by the Arts viaduct whose vaults house shops and crafts workshops, as well as by the René Dumont green corridor.

The 12th arrondissement is appreciated for its many walking areas, such as the Parc de Bercy. To the north, on the border with the 11th arrondissement, Place de la Nation and Avenue du Trône host the annual Trône Fair, while the Cours de Vincennes hosts lively weekly markets. The northwest end of the arrondissement leads to Place de la Bastille, an area that is also very dynamic and festive in the evening. Finally, the Place d’Aligne market is a must: a veritable village of flavors and colors in the heart of Paris, which allows residents of the arrondissement to stock up on fresh, often organic produce.

From 1815 onwards, the neighbourhoods that would later become the 12th arrondissement were the focus of far-reaching urban development projects. These include construction of: the July Column (colonne de Juillet) on the place de la Bastille (1830); the Halle Beauvau (the covered market on rue d’Aligre, 1843); and the construction of the Gare de Lyon (1847-1852) and of the Paris-Vincennes rail line (1855). The development of the railway lines out of Gare de Lyon had a major impact on the 12th arrondissement; at its height, the rail network (including space for servicing it) accounted for 20% of the 12th’s land area and basically cut it in two.

Haussmann was also active in this sector, creating arteries that would later take the names of boulevard Diderot (1854), rue Chaligny (1856), avenue Daumesnil (1859) and rue Crozatier (1861). Between 1855 and 1866, the bois de Vincennes was refurbished by order of Napoleon III, who wished it to become a “vast park for the working populations of eastern Paris.”

La place de la Nation received its current name on 14 July 1880. Prior to that date, it was called the place du Trône, in honour of the entry into Paris of Louis XIV and his new wife, Marie-Thérèse of Austria. Le columns and associated taxation offices that can still be seen on the eastern portion of the place, were part of a much broader set of some 60 tax barriers surrounding Paris that were designed by the architect, Claude Ledoux. Built in 1787, tax officials were stationed there to collect revenues from people and their merchandise entering Paris.

During the reign of Louis-Philippe (1830-1848), the statues of two French kings were placed on the tops of the two columns: Saint Louis (Louis IX) is on the 11th arrondissement side and Philippe Auguste on the 12th arrondissement side. The sculpture that dominates the central part of the Place, Jules Dalou’s La Triomphe de la République, was originally a contender, but not the winner, of a competition for a sculpture to be erected on the place de la République. However, in 1880, responding to popular demand, the municipal council decided to order the statue for the place de la Nation.

The district benefited from numerous urban renewal and public works projects, many of them initiated during the 1980s. Two of the eight ‘Grands Projets of Francois Mitterrand’ that were the hallmark of his presidency were located in the 12th arrondissement. These were the Opéra de la Bastille and the Ministry of Finances.

Major projects in the eastern section of the arrondissement include the French Ministry of Finances, Bercy Village, the Parc de Bercy and the Bercy arena, now renamed Accorhotels Arena. Much of the land these structures now occupy was formerly a depot for wine arriving by river transport from Burgundy and the Loire.

Farther to the west, the arrondissement also features the Opéra de la Bastille, the second largest opera house in Paris. It was inaugurated by Francois Mitterrand in 1989, on the 200th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. The Coulée verte René-Dumont was developed at the same time as the Opéra de la Bastille. It is a 4.7 km elevated linear park built on top of obsolete railway infrastructure. The Viaduc des Arts, a string of workshops for skilled artisans, is also part of this development. It is located at the base of the western part of the Coulée verte René-Dumont.

Town hall
The town hall of the 12th arrondissement of Paris was designed by the architect Antoine-Julien Hénard. Quite eclectic, the architecture of the town hall reflects the styles of the Renaissance, Louis XIII and Louis XIV: mullioned windows, bosses, banded columns, dormer windows. In 1893, the town hall was enlarged with the construction of the Bignon wing, which notably housed the village hall, the decoration of which honored the districts of the 12th arrondissement.

The central pavilion is adorned with a sculpted woman’s head representing La Ville de Paris, by Eugène-André Oudiné, on the keystone. On the first floor of the façade, the niches house two sculptures evoking the economic activity of the arrondissement: L’Ébéniste by Henri Honoré Plé, and Le Vigneron by Alexandre-Victor Lequien. Inside, the painting by Eugène Thirion which adorns the ceiling of the main staircase and its Tuscan columns in pink granite represent the industries of the 12th arrondissement, education and public assistance.

Golden Gate Palace
The Palais de la Porte-Dorée, built on the occasion of the 1931 International Colonial Exhibition, is a building located at the Porte Dorée in the 12th arrondissement of Paris (France). It now houses the National Museum of the History of Immigration and the Palais de la Porte-Dorée aquarium. This 17,000 m² building is considered a jewel of Art Deco, inaugurating this movement of monumental architecture in Paris (before the Palais de Chaillot and the Palais de Tokyo in 1937).

The Palais de la Porte-Dorée was built in the space of 18 months for the 1931 International Colonial Exhibition by the French architect Albert Laprade, in the style of the Art Deco movement which took off during the 1920s. realizes for the event an architectural synthesis. The monumental facade and the imposing peristyle evoke the architecture of Greek temples but also French classicism, like the colonnade of the Louvre. The building’s clean, geometric lines are typical of the Art Deco movement, as is much of the monument’s decor and furnishings. The palace is therefore not dominated by a single architectural style and rather presents itself as a synthesis of different styles. In this respect, it stood out from the other pavilions of the Colonial Exhibition.

Lyon station
The Gare de Lyon is one of the six large mainline railway stations in Paris, France. The station is located in the 12th arrondissement, on the right bank of the river Seine, in the east of Paris. The main entrance, on Place Louis-Armand, opens onto Rue de Lyon, which leads to Place de la Bastille, and Boulevard Diderot. Opened in 1849, it is the northern terminus of the Paris–Marseille railway. It is named after the city of Lyon, a stop for many long-distance trains departing here, most en route to the South of France.

This station is distinguished by its belfry, a square tower 67 meters high and bearing clock faces on its four faces. In the SNCF station, at the top of the columns, are the coats of arms of the cities served. In the ticket office room, the large fresco (in fact, canvases mounted on the walls) by Jean-Baptiste Olive, a Provençal painter, stretches over a hundred meters parallel to the letter lanes, showing, in a continuous way, the main destinations accessible by train from the station, to the Côte d’Azur and the city of Menton.

On the first floor, via the grand staircase, is the mythical Second Empire style restaurant, Le Train bleu, as well as its bar Le Big Ben. It has been classified as a historical monument since September 28, 1972, which makes the Paris-Lyon station the only station in operation in France to be subject to such protection.

Port of Arsenal
The Port de l’Arsenal, located in Paris, connects the Canal Saint-Martin to the Seine, between the Quai de la Rapée and the Place de la Bastille. It was created by bringing water to fill the moat of the Bastille after its destruction. Contains a small garden where students and local employees come to lie down, a rather chic restaurant on the terrace and it is also from here that some of the river boats leave. It was formerly a cargo port which, since 1983, has become a marina. It is part of the network of Parisian canals and constitutes the border between the 4th and 12th arrondissements of Paris.

From the 16th century until the 19th, an arsenal existed at this location. The arsenal accounts for the name of the basin and the name of the neighborhood, Arsenal, bordering the westerly (4th arrondissement) side of the basin. After the destruction of the Bastille fortress in November 1789 (during the French Revolution), the Bassin de l’Arsenal was excavated to replace the ditch that had been in place to draw water from the Seine to fill the moat at the fortress.

During the nineteenth century and most of the twentieth, the Bassin de l’Arsenal was a commercial port where goods were loaded and unloaded. Separated from the Seine by the Morland lockgate, the port was converted into a leisure port in 1983 by a decision of the Mairie de Paris (Paris City Hall) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and it is now run by the Association for the Leisure Port of Paris-Arsenal.

Church of the Holy Spirit of Paris
The Church of the Holy Spirit is a Catholic church located in the 12th arrondissement of Paris. Its main entrance is at 186, avenue Daumesnil; there is another entrance at 1, rue Cannebière. To respond to the strong growth in the population of the district after the First World War, the decision was taken in 1928 to build a new place of worship. The church was completed in 1935. It is the most important achievement of the Chantiers du Cardinal.

The architecture of the Church of the Holy Spirit – with its assertive juxtaposition of Byzantine influence and reinforced concrete – is unique. It is designed by the architect Paul Tournon, which has to face a triangular-shaped terrain. Built entirely of reinforced concrete clad on the outside with burgundy bricks, the church has a square nave surmounted by a dome measuring 22 meters in diameter and 33 meters in height, strongly inspired by the famous dome of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. The church has an important heritage of works of religious art. The interior decor (mosaic, stained glass, painting, sculpture, ironwork) has been listed as historical monuments by an order of the August 17, 1979.

Church of Our Lady of the Nativity of Bercy
The Notre-Dame-de-la-Nativité de Bercy church is a Catholic church located in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, in the Bercy district, on Place Lachambeaudie and isolated in the middle of the traffic lanes. The architecture of the church takes as a model the ancient Roman basilicas. The church has a main nave and two side naves with slightly projecting transepts. Its style, sober and solid, is however distinguished by a porch of classical style, with pediment and columns, and by a bedside decorated on the outside with Byzantine-inspired motifs. The two sculptures on the facade – of Saint Peter and Saint Paul – are works by students of the French school, created in 1866.

Squares and streets
The 12th arrondissement is a relatively calm little corner of paradise. Stroll through the alleys of the Parc de Bercy, relax on the quays, cross the Simone de Beauvoir footbridge and admire its astonishing architecture. Cobbled streets, terraces, shops, greenery… All in old atmosphere that have retained their authenticity and is full of charm.

Bastille’s Place
Place de la Bastille is a square in Paris, a symbolic place of the French Revolution, where the old fortress of the Bastille was destroyed between theJuly 14, 1789 and the July 14, 1790. The square straddles 3 arrondissements of Paris, namely the 4th, 11th and 12th. The July Column which commemorates the events of the July Revolution (1830) stands at the center of the square. Other notable features include the Bastille Opera, the Bastille subway station and a section of the Canal Saint Martin. Prior to 1984, the former Bastille railway station stood where the opera house now stands.

The square is home to concerts and similar events. The north-eastern area of Bastille is busy at night with its many cafés, bars, night clubs, and concert halls. Like a secret passage in the middle of the Place de la Bastille and its hustle and bustle, the Cour Damoye, hidden between two cafés, surprises with its calm and charm. Fitted out by Pierre Antoine Damoye, an 18th century hardware storekeeper, this courtyard housed the accommodation of many ragpickers, scrap metal dealers and other craftsmen, as well as their workshops on the ground floor. On the right, a freight elevator recalls the industrial past of this former craft city.

Place Felix-Eboue
Place Félix-Éboué, previously called Place Daumesnil, is a thoroughfare located in the Picpus district of the 12th arrondissement of Paris. The center of the square is adorned by the fountain of the Château d’eau (or lion fountain), the work of Gabriel Davioud, on the indications of Haussmann. The fountain was initially installed on Place du Château d’Eau (now Place de la République) before being moved to its current location in 1880, when the Monument to the Republic by the brothers Léopold and Charles Morice was installed.

Nation Square
Place de la Nation, formerly “place du Trône” then “place du Trône-Renversé”, is a square in Paris located on the border of the 11th and 12th arrondissements of the city. The Triumph of the Republic in the middle of Marianne’s garden. The central monument, Le Triomphe de la République is a bronze group commissioned in 1879 by the city of Paris from the sculptor Jules Dalou. It was the subject of two inaugurations: in 1889 for the centenary of the French Revolution in a version in painted plaster, then in 1899 for its final version in bronze. The Republic, atop a chariot pulled by two lions, is framed by various allegorical figures: the Genius of Liberty who guides the chariot, Labor symbolized by a blacksmith who pushes the chariot, aided by the allegory of Justice, finally Abundance, which closes the procession by sowing fruit symbols of prosperity.

Court of Bel-air
Covered with vines, this beautiful paved courtyard probably housed a mansion at the end of the 18th century. Buildings were added and rented to boilermakers. Step into this picturesque alley where furniture makers and upholsterers occupy every window. This colorful passage is punctuated with street art works and frescoes as well as pretty display windows and courtyards.

Court of the Burgundians
This set is typical of the large industrial courtyards and building-workshops that appeared in the second half of the 19th century. Here, the workshops were powered by a steam engine, of which the chimney which culminates at 32 meters remains today. Plaques in the entrance hall recall the successes of the large Krieger house, a furniture manufacturer, which was established there and employed up to 600 workers.

Passage Lhomme
This Parisian passage hides many surprises. In the middle of its vegetation hides a large toy store as well as old workshops, in particular that still open of the varnisher Hollard. Do not hesitate to push open the doors, you will discover authentic traces of the artisanal past of the workshops. Then go back to avenue Ledru-Rollin and discover another place that delights children, in the Passage de la Bonne Graine. In the workshop of the same name, puppets are built and shows are given for young audiences (Atelier de la Bonne Graine, 16 Passage de la Bonne Graine)

Passage of the Golden Hand
Now take a cobbled passage steeped in history. The painter Claude Lagoutte lived there for many years, more precisely at n°4. Many engravings and sculptures adorn the walls and door porches and testify to the strong presence of craftsmanship: open your eyes and you will see a bas-relief representing a cabinetmaker at work at n°18 or the face of Mercury, Roman god of trade at n°15. Behind the latter is the Cité Dupuy, where there are still active workshops such as the Marcotte bronze workshops or the Maison Schmidt copper workshop.

Cultural space
From the 1980s, major architectural projects emerged in order to rebalance the city towards the east. Thus the new Opéra Bastille is inaugurated near the Place de la Bastille. Behind the Gare de Lyon, the Ministry of Economy and Finance is built on the banks of the Seine, while around the Parc de Bercy are the Palais Omnisport de Bercy and the American cultural center, a building by the famous architect Frank Gehry, now occupied by the Cinémathèque Française. At the same time, the old Daumesnil viaduct which led to the Gare de la Bastille (demolished during the construction of the opera) was transformed: under the arcades, the Viaduc des Arts was installed; on the tracks is created the Green Corridor.

Immigration History Museum
The Museum of the History of Immigration is a French museum housed in the Palais de la Porte-Dorée in the east of Paris. It has been open to the public since October 2007and was officially opened onDecember 15, 2014 by President François Hollande. The museum is to collect, save, highlight and make accessible the elements relating to the history of immigration in France, in particular since the 19th century; thus contributing to the recognition of the integration paths of immigrant populations in French society and changing the outlook and mentalities on immigration in France.

The National Museum of the History of Immigration is the only national museum devoted to the history and cultures of immigration in France. Through its permanent route, the museum presents two centuries of the history of immigration from a new angle by crossing historical, anthropological and artistic points of view. In addition, the museum regularly offers an artistic and cultural program: exhibitions, conferences, concerts, cinema, theater, workshops, etc.

Fairground Arts Museum
The Musée des Arts Forains is located in the Bercy district of the 12th arrondissement of Paris, at the southeastern end of the Parc de Bercy. It presents a collection of objects from the 19th century and the 20th century.The Musée des arts forains presents the only exhibition of private fairground art elements open to the public in France. This collection is composed of three thematic rooms: “The Venetian Lounges”, “The Theatre of Marvels” and “The Fairground Art Museum”.

The Theatre of Marvels: A glimpse into the biggest world fairs of the beginning of the 20th century (especially Paris’ Exposition Universelle (1900)). An automatic orchestra (controlled by computer) audiovisual displays form a part of the attractions – thanks to 12 projectors, the walls metamorphose into Captain Nemo’s Nautilus submarine, or a coral reef. The Venetian Lounges: Visitors can watch an Italian opera-based show, performed by automata in a typical Venetian setting, or go for a ride on a gondola merry-go-round. The Fairground Art Museum: A special tribute to the 19th-century funfair – ride a bicycle merry-go-round or play at a Parisian Waiters’ Race stand.

French Cinematheque
The Cinémathèque française is a private French organization co-founded by Henri Langlois, located since 2005 at 51, rue de Bercy, a building built by Frank Gehry in the Parc de Bercy in 1994 for the American Center. The missions of the Cinémathèque française are the preservation, restoration and dissemination of film heritage. With more than 40,000 films and thousands of documents and objects related to cinema, it constitutes one of the world’s largest databases on the seventh art.

In celebration of the Centennial of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum and the City Center of Music and Drama in New York co-sponsored “Cinémathèque at the Metropolitan Museum.” The exhibition showed seventy films dating from the medium’s first seventy-five years on thirty-five consecutive evenings from July 29 to September 3, 1970. The films were selected by Henri Langlois for their significance and contributions to the history of filmmaking, including work from official film industries as well as current and early avant garde directors. The program was the most diverse film exhibition held in the United States to date, and was the Museum’s first major undertaking in film.

Paris Workshops
This structure dedicated to crafts, design and fashion, is a business incubator. It accompanies young creators in their approach, offers an exhibition space and organizes numerous events promoting Made in Paris craftsmanship ! It is the Ateliers de Paris that are at the origin of the label “Made in Paris”, which can be found in certain windows during this walk, in particular in the Viaduc des arts. Enter to discover this atypical place or to visit the gallery.

Aligre Market
The Aligre market, one of the oldest markets in Paris, located at the Place d’Aligre and the covered market of the Halle Beauvau. is the soul of this traditionally popular district. Flea markets, vegetarian butchers, cheese shops, greengrocers and stalls of all kinds. A symbol of the market, it is reminiscent of the grocery stores of yesteryear with its sweets, Dijon gingerbread, aromatic plants and seeds…

Public space and natural space
The 12th is one of the greenest area in the capital. There is the Bois de Vincennes, its lake, its wide open spaces and its zoological park; the Coulée Verte, an old railway located 7 meters above the ground; the Parc de Bercy or the Jardin de Reuilly, ideal for resting and sunbathing…

The Bois de Vincennes
The Bois de Vincennes, located on the eastern edge of Paris in the 12th arrondissement, is the largest public park in the city. It was created between 1855 and 1866 by Emperor Napoleon III.. With an area of 995 hectares, half of which is wooded, it is the largest green space in Paris. Many infrastructures occupy the site, bordering the municipality of Vincennes.

The park is next to the Château de Vincennes, a former residence of the Kings of France. It contains an English landscape garden with four lakes; a zoo; an arboretum; a botanical garden; a hippodrome or horse-racing track; a velodrome for bicycle races; and the campus of the French national institute of sports and physical education.

Paris Zoological Park
Paris Zoological Park is a 14.5 hectare zoo, part of the National Museum of Natural History, located in the west of the Bois de Vincennes, adjoining the 12th arrondissement of Paris. Designed in 1934, in addition to the menagerie of the Jardin des Plantes, this zoo aims to observe animal behavior in captivity and reproduce endangered species to be reintroduced into their original habitats.

In 2021 the park presents around 2,500 animals of 234 species: vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians) or not (arthropods, molluscs, etc.). In particular, it includes a 4,000 m2 greenhouse housing an equatorial environment.

Aquarium of the Porte Doree Palace
The Tropical Aquarium of the Palais de la Porte-Dorée is a public aquarium housed by the Palais de la Porte-Dorée, in the 12th arrondissement of Paris (France). Created on the occasion of the 1931 International Colonial Exhibition, it was for a long time the only aquarium in the capital and frequently presents temporary exhibitions.

Built for the 1931 Colonial Exposition, the Golden Gate Palace is home to both the Immigration History Museum and the Tropical Aquarium. The latter was set up to present the aquatic fauna of tropical countries and benefited from the contributions of the governors who brought back fish species on their return to the capital. Renovated for the first time in 1985 with the most advanced aquarium techniques of the time while preserving the historic aspect of the place, the aquarium underwent a new makeover in 2018 with a redesigned scenography and route.

Bercy Park
The Parc de Bercy is a set of three gardens located in the Bercy district of the 12th arrondissement of Paris, between the Palais omnisports de Paris-Bercy and the Bercy Village shopping and restaurant center, on the site of the former Bercy warehouses. The park is laid out on the site of the former Bercy wine warehouses. The garden has preserved from the old site the orthogonal grid of the streets and certain cobbled roads which were once used to transport wines from the banks of the Seine. In memory of the wine-growing past of the place, vines of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties have been planted.

In the central part, the “Parterres”, are still visible from the rails, in memory of the internal network of warehouses linked to the Paris-Bercy freight station which ensured a preponderant part of the transport of wines, a cellar (former place of bottling of wines) and the house of the guards of the warehouses. In the “Romantic Garden” the house of the tax collectors remained. Indeed, this location for the wine market had been chosen to be on the border of the granting barrier established in the 18th century.

The Fairground Arts Museum is located at the eastern end of the park. It presents the reconstruction of a fairground from 1850 to 1950 in its diversity and decorative richness.

Paris flower park
The Parc Floral de Paris is an urban park and botanical garden located in the Bois de Vincennes, in the 12th arrondissement of Paris (France). It is one of the four poles of the Botanical Garden of the city of Paris with the arboretum of the Du Breuil school, also in the Bois de Vincennes, as well as the Bagatelle park and the Auteuil greenhouse garden, both in the Bois de Boulogne.

The landscape architecture of the Park, Daniel Collin, is very freely inspired by the Japanese style popularized at the time of its design by the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The way of articulating the 28 pavilions and the themed horticultural patios is reminiscent of the architecture of the Imperial Villa of Katsura. The overhanging roofs, the semi-covered paths drowned in the vegetation and the orthogonal frames of the pavilions are all nods to their model. The park also includes a hall that serves as a center for exhibitions and events.

The park is home to a unique collection of 1,500 different irises. It offers a very skilful articulation of several plant themes: meadow of bulbs, water mirror with its monumental fountain by François Stahly, valley of flowers, pine forest and its vegetation of azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias, aquatic or country landscapes. It also houses 7,951 referenced taxa of flowers, bulbs and trees, including national collections of geraniums, astilbes and irises, as well as an approved collection of hardy ferns and herbaceous peonies.

The floral park organizes an international dahlia competition every fall, presents more than 250 varieties of tulips in the spring and has hosted the Franciris competition sinceMay 2015. It has been officially recognized as a botanical garden since 1998.

Picpus Cemetery
Picpus Cemetery is the largest private cemetery in Paris, France, located in the 12th arrondissement. It was created from land seized from the convent of the Chanoinesses de St-Augustin, during the French Revolution. Just minutes away from where the guillotine was set up, it contains 1,306 victims executed between 14 June and 27 July 1794, during the height and last phase of the Reign of Terror. At the entrance to the cemetery is the Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix de Picpus chapel. It is one of the four cemeteries of the Paris of the Revolution.

The Arts Viaduct
This old abandoned railway line was redeveloped into a planted promenade in 2000. Beneath its vaults are the workshops and shops of around fifty outstanding designers and craftsmen from the capital. These addresses are very popular with decorators, entertainment and fashion professionals, but also quite simply amateurs and enthusiasts. Cabinet makers, feather makers, luthiers, glassblowers… All perpetuate the tradition of craftsmanship in the district and show the public behind the scenes of their know-how. Wecandoo offers you the opportunity to meet these craftsmen and participate in a workshop by making a unique object alongside them. Go to the Arche located at n°5.

Not hesitating to support innovation and young creators, the Viaduc des Arts also houses an incubator welcoming 5 young creators as well as a “relay” vault rented for 24 months to a young creator. Seven of them have been rewarded by the City and bear the “Made in Paris” label, L’Atelier C, chocolate factory; the Parisian Jam, jam factory; Maison Fey, upholstery, gilding on leather, La Fabrique Nomade, an association that promotes migrant craftsmen; Aisthésis, cabinetmaker; Hervé Ebéniste, cabinetmaker and Julien Vermeulen, plumassier and Junior Fritz Jacquet, paper sculptor and designer.