Square des Batignolles is a lovely neighborhood park. It is one of two beautiful neighborhood parks in our arrondissement, the 17th, the other being the Martin Luther King Park (aka Parc Clichy-Batignolles). Since there is so much of interest about each of these two parks, I am going to have to write about them separately.
Here are some of the features that make the Square des Batignolles park special and worth a visit if you are in the 17th.
Meandering Paths: The label “square” is misleading since it is not a classic french park modeled as a square. Square des Batignolles is in fact a large park with meandering paths. There are bushes and trees lining the paths which make each area feel separate and therefore make the park seem even larger.
Pond and Stream: The park has a large natural free-form pond in the center that is home to a variety of ducks and geese. When we first arrived in Paris we were quite taken with the ducks and took over one hundred pictures and wrote a post about them. Carp and goldfish also live in the pond. A stream cascades down a rock formation into the pond. There is a cute path and a crossing over the stream that little kids love.
Plantings: The park is modeled on an English garden with a is a combination of classic manicured flower beds and free-form natural plantings. The garden was designed to delight and amaze with a variety of unusual trees and bushes. For example, there are some very old very large plane trees (planted in the middle 1800s), willow trees and a sequoia.
Activities: My favorite activities are walking around and admiring the flowers and wildlife, and relaxing and people-watching on the many conveniently located benches. Since the 17th is a residential neighborhood the park is filled with locals – both the elderly chatting with friends and young parents chasing their little ones. For the little ones, there are also two small play areas. Open on the weekends are a little Merry-go-round and crepe stand (I don’t recommend the crepes though). For adults, at one end of the park are areas for games of pétanque and also some ping pong tables.
Once you have finished visiting the park, there are plenty of restaurants and shops to visit nearby!