Spreading over the area of 14 hectares, the Parc de Bercy connects three gardens: the “Romantic Garden”, with fishponds and dunes; the “Flowerbeds”, dedicated to plant life; and “The Meadows” – an area of open lawns shaded by tall trees. Aside from being one of the most important parks in the city, it is also a relaxing spot with numerous facilities.
The park is linked directly to the National Library of France by the footbridge over the Seine. In the north-east part of the park there is the Cinémathèque Française (the former American Centre), designed by Frank Gehry, and on the raised terraces there are 21 sculptures of Rachid Khimoune’s “Children of the World” installation, created in 2001 to honour children’s rights. The Musée des Arts Forains is also located there. The park is known for its multiple designs and uses, nearby apartments, commercial activity, bridges and gardens, as well as for apartment buildings, quaint shops, and cafés. It is geometrically divided, and offers areas for children, gardeners, plant-lovers, and all those who would like to walk or stroll. Located in the centre of the park is the Palais Omnisports; the building resembles a terraced pyramid and its walls are covered with glass. This multi-purpose indoor sports and concert arena hosts sporting events including track and field, tennis, basketball and equestrian events. It also houses the Sonja Henie Patinoire – an ice-skating rink. Music concerts are staged there as well. Within Parc de Bercy and on the east of the Palais Omnisports stadium is a small, man-made canyon on the edge of a pond and to the south of this creation, there is an enclosed skateboard/rollerblade park with slopes and jumps made of metal. On the east of this skateboard park you will find a wide stairway, which leads to an expansive terrace. Down the middle of this stairway there are several channels of water comprising a very interesting cascading fountain. The park also includes a labyrinth made of 1,5-metre tall yew hedges, a vineyard and the “House of Gardening”, which provides information on all aspects of gardening. Another attraction is the so-called “House of Wind”, which consists of several square columns forming a circle. Within the circle there is a weather vane, which measures wind direction and velocity. Parc de Bercy has a small children’s playground and a carousel.
The park is located in the area which in the 19th century was occupied by the largest centre of wine and spirit trade in the world, and some remains of the industry can still be seen there. The park was built between 1995 and 1996 as part of a plan to revitalise the eastern side of Paris, which was traditionally poorer and less active than the western side.