An Abandoned Colonial (human) Zoo now ideal for Picnics!
So you may recall a little while back MessyNessy wrote about a place called the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale …
“… In the furthest corner of the Vincennes woods of Paris, lies the remains of what was once a public exhibition to promote French colonialism over 100 years ago and what we can only refer to today as the equivalent of a human zoo. In 1907, six different villages were built […] representing all the corners of the French colonial empire at the time […] This included mimicking the architecture, importing the agriculture and appallingly, inhabiting the replica houses with people, brought to Paris from the faraway territories…” (Read the full article here)
But what Nessy forgot to mention about this stain on French history, is that it also makes an idyllic outdoor oasis for catching rays with a picnic! (If being surrounded by a little sinister history doesn’t bother you). The gardens were re-opened to the public in 2006, (after spending most of the 20th century behind rusty padlocked gates), and as it’s not exactly a place the French are particularly proud of, the lush green park has remained a pretty well-kept secret and very few people actually know about it at all, let alone visit.
You say colonial junkyard, I say perfect seclusion! In between grassy bamboo-lined fields, ideal for a sunny apéro, pathways overtaken by nature lead to strange, abandoned houses and pavilions, untamed tropical plants, exotic landscape and clues all around to the garden’s colonial past. Perhaps a little more interesting than picking daisies?!