The Promenade Plantée is a 4.5km path that runs between the Bois de Vincennes and the Place de la Bastille following the track of an overground railway. For most of its course it runs on a viaduct giving an unusual perspective on the rooftops and buildings of the surrounding area.
The railway that used to run on this line stopped functioning in 1969, but it’s only over the past 10 years or so that its old track has been restored and turned into a wonderful urban walkway. The path has been planted in a variety of styles that make for a delightful stroll. We did the walk on a Sunday morning when it was so thronged with joggers, that you had to keep your wits about you to avoid being crashed into by earplugged fitness fanatics.
At this height you really start to notice the elaborate ornamentation of the mainly nineteenth century buildings along the Avenue Daumesnil:
The oddest site on the walk is this building on the Rue Abel (I think) near the Gare de Lyon with its giant narcissistic statues.
The building that they grace is a police station, but it’s hard to believe that these statues were commissioned by the police. I have not been able to find out anything about them online, but it would be interesting to know who they depict, why they were commissioned, how they came to be there and what the building was originally.
After the peace and quiet of the Promenade Plantée, the descent to the Avenue Daumesnil and then on to the busy Place de la Bastille is a bit of a shock.