Founded in 1860
Activity : attraction park
Bois de Boulogne
75116 Paris - France
► Jardin d’Acclimatation celebrates Brittany
► Words bloom in the Jardin d’Acclimatation
► New landscaping for Jardin d’Acclimatation
Le Jardin d’Acclimatation, France’s oldest attraction park, opened its gates to the public in October 1860.
On the model of Hyde Park, Napoléon III and his wife Empress Eugénie surrounded themselves with the Second Empire’s greatest town planners to create a zoological and biological society. Baron Haussmann, Prefect of the Seine département, engineer Jean-Charles Alphand, landscape-architect Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps and architect Gabriel Davioud devoted their talents to this project and imagined a 20-hectare park. The imperial couple entrusted the activities and the management to zoologist Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. In 1952, the famous industrialist Marcel Boussac decided to invest and set up the Société du Jardin d’Acclimatation.
In 2004, LVMH group decided to revitalize this "Parisian square" and undertook to restore it to its former splendor and to open it up to all audiences. Finally, in 2006, the worksite of the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation, imagined by the American architect Frank Gehry, was established in the Jardin d’Acclimatation. Dedicated to the most contemporary art, it should open in 2014.
The identity of the Jardin d’Acclimatation is founded on a set of feelings, of images, of places that all generations of Parisians have known: le Petit Train (the small train) which has been running since 1878; the Enchanted River, an attraction from the Universal Exhibition with boats that have been sailing since 1926; the famous distorting mirrors; the small Norman farm, which for many of the capital’s children has been their introduction to nature; the Guignol marionette theatre, one of France’s most classical, in the restored Napoléon III Great Stables. It is this blend of cultural activities, attractions, animal observation, quality of landscapes that makes the Jardin unique in comparison to similar parks.
The Jardin d’Acclimatation is a mix of several worlds: those of Amélie Poulain and Adèle Blanc-Sec; of Robert Doisneau and Willy Ronis; it is the world of the Third Republique; that of the “Jules”, Grévy and Ferry, Favre and Simon.
It refers as much to Malet and Isaac, to Lagarde and Michard as to Delphine and Marinette; like the works of Victor Hugo and Jules Verne, of Louis Pasteur and Georges Méliès. It is the illustration of the idea of progress "à la française" that arose in the 19th century. It is an unchanging world, dedicated to childhood, the symbol of both an eternal and a modern Paris.
The Jardin, which holds a public service delegation from Paris City Hall, has as its main objectives: to preserve the heritage of the 19th century, both its buildings and its landscapes, whilst modernizing; to fulfill its missions as laid down by the City of Paris — sports and nature, games and culture. 365 days a year, it offers the 1.5 million visitors it welcomes annually, a variety of attractions, recreational activities and walks.
The Jardin d’Acclimatation has put in place a policy of free activities and attractions with a view to welcoming all audiences regardless of their geographical or social origin. Priority is given to sustainable development and biodiversity throughout the park. The multiplication of mammals, often rare domestic breeds (aurochs, lamas, fallow deer, Suffolk sheep, Rove goats, Poitou donkeys…) and the introduction of free-roaming birds (peacocks, white peacocks, turkeys, pompom ducks, Canada geese…) bears witness to this.
The arrival of an apiary of 400 000 ecological sentinel bees guarantors of the park’s good health, and the introduction of carbon-free electric locomotives for the Petit Train which links Porte Maillot to the station at the main entrance to encourage visitors to travel to the Jardin without using their car; the non-use of fertilizers and pesticides; and the implementation of selective waste-sorting for our visitors are also signs of this commitment.
For several years now, the Jardin d’Acclimatation has opened up to the world’s cultures by hosting for four weeks each year, in April and May, a country or region, its traditions, its present and future through performances of song, dance and music; of painting, sculpture and photo exhibitions as well as crafts, literature, theatre and gastronomy. The United States, Morocco, China, Korea, India, Russia and Japan have, as a result, settled in under its foliage.