Bois de Vincennes

The Bois de Vincennes is an enormous park, located in Paris, in the eastern side of the 12th arrondissement. It derives its name from the town of Vincennes which is in close proximity. With an English radiance to it, the park has a land area greater than 3.84 square miles making it one of the largest parks in the Paris.

The park was initially used as a royal hunting preserve for king Philippe and the other kings that followed. Not long after, a castle, Château de Vincennes was built under the commission of Louis IX. It was completed during the reign of Philippe VI. A royal chapel was later added. Thousands of oak trees were planted between the 15th and the 16th centuries. At this time, Bois de Vincennes had not assumed its present form. This was achieved during the reign of Napoleon II when together with Baron Haussmann in his modernization of Paris, decreed the creation of the park in an English style.

The Bois de Vincennes is now a modern looking park with a country feel to it. With its long stretch of green, it provides the perfect environment to ‘get away from it all’. While there are other parks and gardens in Paris, the Bois de Vincennes sets itself apart by having this ability to immerse you into oneness with nature. The park has a total of four lakes with two of them having islands. The biggest lake, Lac Daumensil is located in the western side of the park, and it has two islands. They provide a serene environment perfect for boating and also scenic dining with the island café located on one of the island. There is also a large zoo located in the park with a total population of over 12000 animals. An impressive thing in the zoo, besides the wildlife of course, is the colossal rock structure which houses a wild species of sheep found in the zoo. There is also a bird sanctuary which has over a hundred species of birds. A floral park with a modest land area of about 70acres presents a stunning array of botanical beauty. At the central stage present in the Parc Floral as it is officially named, international jazz concerts are held during the spring and all the way into the summer.

The Bois de Vincennes has a lot more to offer. There are six different theatres, playgrounds and puppet theatres for children and a carousel as well. During the warm months of April and May, there is usually a funfair held at the park and its family friendly atmosphere is highly adored, more so by young kids la. This Foire du Trone is actually the larges funfair held in Paris, and by extension France.

The Bois de Vincennes, with its long stretch of beaten roads and intuitively created trails does offer nature trails for jogging or taking long walks, bicycle as well as horse trails, all of which stretch over tens of kilometres. In essence, this giant park does give you the country feeling even when you are still in the city.