There are the well-known “gardens” at Trocadero, which includes the fountains and unparalleled view of the Eiffel Tower. And then there are the smaller, scattered gardens that are a part of the same system.
This post covers a small Trocadero garden very near the Rue de Passy. When I’ve been there are several occasions, it was devoid of people. All the more reason to go!
Just a little ways east of the beautiful Monument to Luís de Camões at 4 Boulevard Delessert, 75016 Paris, is this fine little green space with a stairway built into a series of natural boulders.
You’ll know you’ve reached it when you see this bronze bas relief which is the Monument à de Grasse, by by Paul Landowski, who is well-known for his statue of Christ in Rio di Janero. But it is this monument in Paris which has a special significance for Americans:
François Joseph Paul, Comte de Grasse, Marquis of Grasse-Tilly SMOM (1722 – 1788) was a career French officer who achieved the rank of admiral. He is best known for his command of the French fleet at the Battle of the Chesapeake in 1781 in the last year of the American Revolutionary War. It led directly to the British surrender at Yorktown and helped gain the rebels’ victory.
After this action, de Grasse returned with his fleet to the Caribbean. In 1782 British Admiral Rodney decisively defeated and captured Grasse at the Battle of the Saintes. Grasse was widely criticised for his loss in that battle. On his return to France in 1784, he blamed his captains for the defeat. A court martial exonerated all of his captains, effectively ending his naval career.
If you want to read more about this monument and its history, see:
In the pictures above and below, you can see the very cool stairway that ascends this series of big boulders.
But there’s another amazing thing about this particular little green space in the 16th arrondissement, and that is the presence of 2 pieces of unparalleled Parisian history!
Below is a doorway from the Tuileries Palace, which had been built by Catherine de Medici and which was destroyed by fire in the the 1870s by the Communards. You can see the fire damage at the top.
In this doorway, we have a small remnant of the Renaissance in France.
There is no signage for either of these architectural ruins, and I am indebted to Corey Frye, tour guide in Paris known as the French Frye in Paris, for having discussed them. Thanks Corey.