Paris - Ile De France
Square du Vert Galant - Public garden - Paris
Square du Vert Galant, named after a king
Square du Vert-Galant is a small public garden located at the western tip of the Ile de la Cité.
It was created in 1607 (at the same time than Place Dauphine) when two islets - Ile aux Juifs and Ile du Passeur - were attached to the main island.
Square du Vert Galant is also still located on the original level of the Ile de la Cité, namely 7m lower than the island's current level!
The newly created park was open to the public; women indeed came to wash clothes and collect water while men fished.
It was turned into an open-air dancing area during the 19th century, but this site closed a few decades later due to recurrent floods!
The City of Paris bought the land in 1884 and landscaped the public garden.
A double flight of steps accessing the garden is located at the rear of the equestrian statue of King Henri IV on Place du Pont-Neuf.
The current statue is a replica that dates from 1818.
Henri IV was known for enjoying the company of ladies and was nicknamed Le Vert Galant (sprightly), hence the park's name!
A little oasis of greenery and peace in the middle of the Seine!
It is located right in the middle of the River Seine, away from the noisy crowds!
The central lawn is nestled in an impressive selection of tree and shrub species.
These indeed include several chestnuts, weeping willows, tamarisks and lilacs, a walnut bearing edible nuts, a maple and a Ginkgo biloba!
Sit on one the benches, then close your eyes...you'll think you are in the countryside
If you are patient, you'll also see many aquatic birds such as swans and ducks.
Finally, those who are fans of French history will discover a discreet commemorative slab.
Directions: Ile de la Cité - 1st District
Metro: Cité on Line 4
Coordinates: Lat 48.857494 - Long 2.340085
Photo via Wikimedia Commons: Plan de Bellforest 1575 by Belleforest is in Public domain
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