The public park was designed by writer and painter Louis Carrogis Carmontelle back in 1778 to mimic an English style garden with curved walkways and a striking series of follies built by German architect Etickhausen. In 1787, the park’s dramatic centerpiece, the Pavilion de Chartres, was erected to designs by Claude Nicolas Ledoux – a classical Doric Temple, which now features a 19th century classical dome added by architect Gabriel Davioud.
After being sold to the city of Paris in 1860, sections of the park were remodeled, with housing built on the park’s flanks and a exotic trees and flowers planted around the gardens. Today, many of the original follies remain, including a small-scale ornamental Dutch windmill, Corinthian pillars, an Egyptian Pyramid, an Italian vineyard and a minaret. The Grade II listed park is also famous for its statues of significant French writers and musicians, with sculpted works including Guy de Maupassant, Alfred de Musset, Frederic Chopin, Charles Gounod and Ambroise Thomas. The park remains one of the most picturesque of Paris’ many green spaces, famously inspiring a series of five paintings by celebrated French Impressionist Claude Monet.