A stroll on the Petite Ceinture
Published on in Visit Paris
You’re probably already familiar with the eternal Paris of the Louvre, Notre-Dame and the Eiffel Tower, as well as the elegant Paris of the great Haussmann-era avenues and the Madeleine... but today your Hotel Vice Versa invites you to discover another facet of the capital; one that’s discreetly hidden, imaginative, creative and green!
The Petite Ceinture, or PC as it’s known to Parisians
Often called the PC by Parisians, the Petite Ceinture (Little Belt) is a disused railway line that circles through the city and once linked its main stations. Becoming obsolete in the mid-30s, it was abandoned for many years. Being mostly at a lower level than the adjacent streets and houses, it was forgotten and allowed to return to nature. Overgrown, it became a haven for wildlife and a magnet for urban explorers. In recent years, various projects have been set up to turn the PC into a series of walking paths and parks while still preserving its special features and biodiversity.
Discover the Petite Ceinture
A section of the PC very close to your Hotel Vice Versa has been converted into a 1.5 km walk. Take a stroll and you’ll quickly see that the essential character of this disused railway line remains plainly evident. The intact rails, bridges, sleepers and tunnels testify to its busy former existence. You will also discover, to your astonishment, the biodiversity of the place, since nearly 220 animal species flourish there, happily coexisting with the passing joggers and walkers. You’ll see the work of graffiti artists who continue to express themselves artistically in the margins. If the PC’s history interests you, why not discover some more initiatives in other districts along the line, including shared gardens, urban agriculture, places of artistic expression and more.
The Petite Ceinture reflects the creative and slightly underground Paris that has always been at the forefront of innovation and art. Get some fresh air and discover the latest trends in urban art by visiting the Petite Ceinture, just minutes from your Hotel Vice Versa...
Photo credit : © Céline Harrand - Flickr
Hotel Vice Versa, a 4-star boutique hotel in the heart of Paris 15th