Cover Photo © Credit to Wikipedia/Apostoly
Cover Photo © Credit to Wikipedia/Apostoly

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Parks and gardens in Paris: Albert Kahn

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The Albert Kahn Garden is the most exotic garden situated in Boulogne-Billancourt, a Parisian suburb. Composed of English, Japanese and French garden to symbolise the peace in the world, this beautiful place will enchant you with its diversity of landscapes. This garden is perfect for all nature lovers but also children who will be more than happy to discover a lake with red carps or to go for a walk in the pine forest. But before you come to visit this magical place, you should be aware that this is not an ordinary public park. The Albert Kahn Garden is a collection garden, and it is absolutely forbidden to picnic here.    

The Albert Kahn garden, Paris
The Albert Kahn garden, Paris
Albert-Kahn museum and garden county, 10 Rue du Port, 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France

Gardens of the World    

Albert Kahn (1860-1940) was a French banker that believed in peace among all people and nations on Earth. He was well known for his important collection of the color photography made on glass plates and named the Archives of the Planet. But Kahn was also a nature lover. In 1893, he decided to create a beautiful and unique garden on his large property in Boulogne-Billancourt, a Parisian suburb. He imagined it as a place composed of English, Japanese and French garden to symbolize the peace in the world. Henri and Achille Duchêne, two prestigious French gardeners, created the French garden in 1895. The Japanese garden had two houses, a tea pavilion and a pagoda that Kahn brought from his trip to Japan. In 1990, this garden was modified by Fumiaki Takano, a Japanese landscaper, and he imagined it as a tribute to Albert Kahn’s life. Kahn also planted a pine forest that reminds him of the landscapes of his childhood, as well as the “blue forest”, a set of trees with blue foliage. This garden named the “Gardens of the World” was a meeting place of many famous artists, philosophers, scientists, industrialists and politicians. But after the major stock market crash in 1929, Kahn bankrupted and his estates, including his garden, were seized. His garden was turned in 1937 into a public park devoted to walking and contemplation, and in 1968, the Albert Kahn Museum dedicated to the Archives of the Planet was open. 

Archives of the Planet

Albert Kahn was a nature lover, but he was also a man behind a big photographic project, known as the Archives of the Planet. After his trip to Japan in 1909, he returned to France decided to start collecting the photographs of the entire world. His idea was to send young photographers all over the world to make pictures from every continent. For this project, they used the most modern equipment of that time – the autochrome plates. From 1909 to 1931, the Archives of the Planet collected 72 000 color photographs made in more than 50 countries. Even if the Albert Kahn Museum is since 2014 closed for renovation, you can still check this unique historical collection on the museum's web site. 

Practical information 

The Albert Kahn Garden, the most exotic garden in Paris, is currently closed for public as well as the museum. The garden will be reopened in September 2019, but until then, you can still visit this incredible garden. Even if free access is not allowed, the guided tours are organised very often. The entrance price is 3 euros. 

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The author

Sladjana Perkovic

Sladjana Perkovic

Hello, my name is Sladjana, a journalist and writer living in Paris, France. I write about French well hidden places, gastronomy and cultural events.

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