Paris - Ile De France Section
Viaduc des Arts – Coulée Verte René-Dumont
Viaduc des Arts – dedicated to artistic creativity
The Viaduc des Arts was built in 1859 in order to support the Ligne de Vincennes' railway tracks.
The line linked the Gare de Paris-Bastille to Verneuil l'Etang, a town located 45 km east of the Chateau de Vincennes.
The 71 arcades located underneath the viaduct, at street level, served as storage facilities for the railway.
The line operated until 1969; the station was pulled down and replaced with the Opera Bastille in 1984.
The viaduct became redundant, but the storage facilities became exclusive art and crafts workshops and boutiques.
They were fully restored and fitted with large bay windows mounted on wooden frames.
The Viaduc des Arts was born!
The artists, who are lucky to get a space in the Viaduc des Arts, must produce most of their creations on site.
Many have therefore established their workshop in the window, for all to enjoy.
The Viaduc des Arts is very popular with Parisians and tourists.
Not only does it boast a superb location, but it is also a permanent exhibition of artistic creativity.
A visit definitively off the beaten track!
Coulée Verte René-Dumont or Promenade Plantée
In 1988, the City of Paris commissioned Philippe Mathieux and Jacques Vergely with the landscaping of the upper section of the Viaduc des Arts.
The old railway tracks were turned into a 4,5km green walk, originally known as Promenade Plantée.
It was renamed Coulée Verte René-Dumont to pay tribute to the late environmental politician.
Dumont is indeed considered the forerunner of the French Green party.
The indigenous vegetation (moss, lichen...) that lined the tracks was preserved.
Many species of trees and shrubs were planted and flowerbeds created.
A stroll on the Coulée Verte René-Dumont
The walk takes you through a series of four public gardens - Hector-Malot, Reuilly-Paul Pernin, Gare de Reuilly and Charles-Peguy.
The course includes many of the original railway infrastructures, such as bridges, flyovers, embankments, trenched and tunnels.
The Coulée Verte René-Dumont spreads therefore over a 3.7-hectare area, plus an extra 3.3-hectare of gardens.
It runs 10m above Avenue Daumesnil until the town hall of the 12th District at no130.
It continues on the Passerelle BZ/12.
This footpath spans the public garden Jardin de Reuilly, then comes back down at street level.
It turns into a side-path along Avenue Vivaldi before returning on the old railway track.
It then goes through a tunnel under Avenue de Picpus and splits at Rue du Sahel.
One branch goes towards Porte Montempoivre by the Périphérique (ring road) and runs through a tunnel under Boulevard Soult.
The other branch leads to Square Charles Peguy, where it ends.
Not only is the Coulée Verte René-Dumont ideal for a Sunday walk, but it is also one of the most bucolic places in Paris!
The Coulée Verte René-Dumont is divided in 3 sections that all open at 8am but have different closing hours that vary according to the season.
Section Rue Edouard-Lartet to Avenue Emile Laurent closes at 6pm, 7.30pm or 8.30pm
Section Avenue Emile Laurent to Tunnel de Reuilly: 7pm, 8.30pm ot 9.30pm
Section Jardin de Reuilly to Bastille: 5.30pm, 8.15pm or 9.15pm
Facilities: You’ll find a few public toilets at street level and a lift on Avenue Daumesnil.
Dogs are allowed on a lead except on the section running above the Viaduct des Arts.
Bikers will be happy to know that there is a cycle track between the Tunnel de Reuilly and the Bois de Vincennes.
Directions: 12th district
Metro: Bastille, Gare de Lyon, Montgallet
Closest velibs’ stations: #4007 #11001 #4101
Coordinates for Viaduc des Arts and access to Coulée Verte on Rue de Lyon: Lat 48.849605 - Long 2.371083