Bercy (81)

The district of Bercy is an old wine merchants’ neighbourhood. In the past it was a separate town and nearly all the wine drunk in Paris passed through here. It is situated to the east of the city centre, where formerly lugubrious warehouses, industrial naves and slum housing were all crowded together. Today it is a modern district in which it is still possible to trace its winemaking roots.

Here is the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, the largest indoor sports stadium in the city. It has become an icon of modern design due to its pyramidal shape, covered with grass, with a capacity for 17,000 persons that hosts numerous sporting events and concerts.

The whole area, after thorough renovation, gives off a certain eclectic air, with buildings in different styles. Among its other architectural jewels feature the building that Chemetov built for the Ministry of Finance, or the singular Centre Culturel Americain designed by Frank Gehry. Inside it contains the Maison du Cinema and the prestigious Academie Française.

Bercy also contains in its centre one of the main green spaces in the city. The Parc Bercy has measures 70 hectares and in the corners of its original design you can find pleasant areas fro strolling, ponds, the ruins of Bercy Castle and a traditional merry-go-round. It also has a wonderful terrace overlooking the Seine.

Many of the old facilities dedicated to wine and the cellars have been restored and turned into bars, restaurants and shops.

Nearby you can see the Viaduc des Arts, the archways situated beneath the railway viaduct now in disuse. It is fun to walk among its artists and fashion designers’ studios and its boutiques and restaurants. 

Finally, the Marina de Bercy is the jetty for the cruisers that run up and down the Seine. One of the most recommendable activities in Paris is a boat trip along the river to enjoy the city from another perspective.

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