If you’re searching for some open space and somewhere to hear the birds not far from Paris, head to Parc de Saint Cloud to the west of the city. It is also on our list of places to visit in Autumn !
Since 1923 it has been protected as a Natural Site and in 1994 was given the status as a Historical Monument. The domaine is situated at the site of the former Château de Saint Cloud. Don’t go searching for the château, it was destroyed in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War.
Originally l’Hôtel d’Aulnay it was expanded into a château in the 16th century. Later, in 1658, it was bought by Philippe of France Duke of Orléans (younger brother of Louis XIV). in 1785 it fell into the hands of Louis XVI, who bought the château for Marie-Antoinette. She believed the air of Saint Cloud would be good for her children ! It is here at Saint Cloud where the famous meeting took place between Marie-Antoinette and the Count of Mirabeau (a figure during the French Revolution). Although there were no witnesses to this meeting, it is thought that the Queen tried to bribe him. The château was emptied during the French Revolution.Not long after, in May 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte was announced Emperor and the château was used by his family. The château was burnt down in October 1870 in the Franco-Prussian war, under the ruling of Napoleon III. What we can see now in the domaine are the beautiful gardens, a panoramic view of Paris and the fountains.Parc de Saint Cloud is the site used every year for the Rock en Seine festival (music festical) as well as the biggest firework display in Europe which is held in September. We were lucky enough to see this spectacle one year and it is incredible ! You may also know this park if you are a fan of Sinead O’Connor as it features in her clip ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’.The parc is open every day of the year and is free for pedestrians. You can reach the parc via :
Metro Line 10 – stop Pont de Saint Cloud (the parc is 10 mins by foot)
Metro Line 9 – stop Pont de Sèvres (the parc is 10 mins by foot)