the Paris High Line

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It’s not really called the Paris High Line, it’s called la Promenade plantée or la Coulée verte, but New York City’s High Line project was inspired by the Parisian Promenade plantée (tree-lined walkway), completed in 1993.

We are currently enjoying exceptional weather in Paris.  Today couldn’t be more perfect – cobalt-blue sky, light wind to blow the pollution away, and a cool 17°C.  A perfect day to head over to Bastille and the 12th arrondissement to walk the High Line.

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Contrary to the NYC promenade which is 1.45 miles long (2.33 km), the Paris promenade is 3 miles long (4.8-kilometer). The diversity of plants as well as architectural styles, mostly dwellings, that you pass by is interesting. A slice of Paris.  The photo below is a bamboo grove.

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I can’t tell you how relaxing and enjoyable it was to stroll along at your own pace, feeling the sun on your face and hearing the birds chirping. No cars, no noisy scooters…just joggers, pedestrians, space and nature. Because I went fairly early this morning, there weren’t many people.  But I hear it gets quite crowded on Sunday afternoons.  Too bad I live on the other side of the city, otherwise I’d be here all the time.

IMG_4434Picknicking Parisians and below that, a happy walker. See, this is what I couldn’t do in Naples….walk around freely with all my stuff strapped on me (camera, backpack, purse).IMG_4436IMG_4438When you reach the end, you turn right at some point and come out onto the avenue Daumesnil. Here’s the original “Viaduc de Bastille” constructed in 1859 and which carried the railways of the Paris-Bastille-Vincennes train line. Now they are design shops and artist workshops. The promenade runs along the top of the viaduc.IMG_4440This self-catering apartment-hotel, steps from the High Line and 10 minutes south of place de la Bastille, looks like a good place to stay if you’re visiting Paris. The longer you stay, the cheaper it costs.IMG_4446IMG_4447

Here’s how to get to the starting point. Take the metro to Bastille and take exit number 4 (rue de Lyon). Walk south along the rue de Lyon (past the new Paris Bastille opera house) about 10 minutes until you get to the beginning of the viaduc at numbers 44-46 rue de Lyon. Take stairs up to entrance.  Bonne promenade !IMG_4439

9 thoughts on “the Paris High Line

  1. Truly beautiful. I’ve walked the NYC High Line many times and had no idea it has an equivalent in Paris. Thanks for this info.

  2. I love this walk! First saw it in one of the Linklater films — Before Sunset maybe? — and went with my husband and a friend the next time we were in Paris. The views — birds’ eye! — were wonderful and the length just right for working off pastries and building up an appetite for a good lunch. My friend is a bookbinder so she enjoyed finding a shop below the viaduc with interesting people doing great work with leather and marbled papers.

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