Isle of sports and history

The Bois de Vincennes, to the east of Paris, is the largest park in the city, three times the size of New York’s Central Park, representing 10% of the capital’s total area.

This royal hunting ground of ancient French kings, designated a park by Napoleon III in 1855, is
crossed by 7.8 km (4.8 mi) of natural and artificial streams in the “British” style. Éric Lamelot, head of the Bois de Vincennes at Paris City Hall, says, “It was initially about competing with our British rivals and London’s great parks.”

Nature thrives here, with a population of “some fifty foxes and about as many bird species,” notes Lamelot, who manages this area visited by 11 million people a year.

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