Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Natural beauty at the Square Marie Trintignant

There are three things that surprise at the Square Marie Trintignant; it is open 24 hours a day, there are more things you can't do than you can do, and it is (almost) an entirely natural environment.

It is of course its uncultivated aspect that is its key attraction today. As a square it is barely larger than a picnic blanket, but with its handful of low-hanging trees and carpet of greenery, it offers a tiny pocket of calm in the city. 
  
No dog walking, no football, no picking flowers and no...swigging from bottles of wine?
The Square, previously known as the Ave Maria, was renovated, re-themed and renamed in 2007. The change of name to that of French actress Marie Trintignant was not without controversy as it did not respect the so called '5 year rule' which states that public places in the city cannot be given the name of a personality until at least five years after their death (Marie Trintignant died - or rather was killed - in 2003).

Such nit-picking though seems thoroughly misplaced in this case. The square is an almost forgotten corner of the Marais, and was previously just a concrete non-space. It now has an identity which, through its simple and untamed beauty, provides - deliberately or otherwise - a fitting reminder of Marie Trintignant herself.   

Square Marie Trintignant, Rue de l'Ave Maria, 75004

8 comments:

Tim said...

That bit of the sign means "no swigging from bottles of wine when there are sporren-clad women sitting on other imaginary benches in the vicinity". Wine is out then, but beer may still be in.

I must say the dog and its master look extremely jolly and energetic. They'll soon mellow out when they see the sign though.

designslinger.com said...

Another great post from IP!

Congratulations on your "Guardian" post - they know a good thing when they read it!

Peter Olson said...

Nice to see that many parks in Paris now have at least a part left "wild"... and then you have of course the Jardin Naturel close to Père Lachaise (rue de le Réunion), Parc Vincent (very seldom open)...

Anonymous said...

Actually, the square used to be Square Pope Jean Paul II and it isn't that different than what it used to be- for example, all the trees and ivy border are the same as before. I think neighborhood people were more angry about the fact that the mairie spent a huge amount of money (I had been told it was 2 million euro, but that seems impossible, even by wasteful city spending standards) renaming and redesigning this park while a few hundred yards down the quai at Square Galli, where all the kids play after school, the fences needed drastic fixing and all the toys had been ripped at Place des Vosges and not replaced due to budget constraints.

Adam said...

Anonymous: The Square Jean-XXIII (Jean Paul II) is behind Notre Dame. This square definitely used to be called Square de l'Ave Maria.

Perhaps it cost money to 'rebrand' this park, but surely the idea is partly that costs will be minimal from now on. The balance between 'nature' and giving kids somewhere to play is a tricky one in Paris though, and I'm not sure that they've found the perfect balance anywhere.

Terry said...

What fun - on my (only, so far) visit to Paris in October 2007, I actually spent time at this little park - it fascinated me, so tiny and yet so beautiful, with mad traffic and racket all around! Thanks for the update and information about it, which I would never have known!

Parisperdu said...

J'adore votre blog.

De: Un amoureux de Paris
http://parisperdu.blogg.org

Adam said...

Merci Parisperdu - de votre part, ceci est un vrai compliment pour moi.

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