The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is one of the largest parks in the city of Paris. It was built between 1863 and 1867 by Jean-Charles Alphand at the behest of Napoleon III. With its picturesque rocks, streams, waterfalls, grottoes, meadows and viewpoints, it is one of the most popular of the Parisian parks. A famous feature of the park is the Temple de la Sibylle, perched at the top of a cliff fifty metres above the waters of the artificial lake.
The old photo shows the terrain at the beginning of the construction. At the site of today's park was originally a landfill and a quarry. In 1862, at the suggestion of Baron Haussmann, the city decided to transform the forbidding area into a park, thereby improving the quality of living in the surrounding area.The work involved a great deal of effort: For the creation of the artificial mountains and rocks, one million cubic meters of earth had to be moved and twentythousand of trees planted. Time and again there were setbacks (such as landslides) and the construction costs shot up, provoking much criticism on the project. Nevertheless, the park could finally be opened on April 1, 1867, as part of the Paris World Exposition.