Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand Forest Garden in Paris
Designed in an ecological way in partnership with the Natural History Museum in Paris, this forest garden is an ideal place to study a variety of flora and fauna, and there is also a permanent exhibition in the library relating to this as well.
About the Forest Garden at the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand
The forest garden was designed when the new national library of France was constructed in Paris and the reading rooms of the Francois-Mitterand library encircle this large enclosed garden.
It was modelled after the Fontainebleau forest, just on a smaller scale, and is within an excavation going to around three metres into the limestone rock, and then this had to be filled with between two and five metres of forest ground making it hilly in different areas.
The whole area of the garden is approximately 10,600 square metres and the forest area takes up over three quarters of this, with the remainder being laid to grass, and there are 165 pines of the Pinus Sylvestris variety and around 100 of these were adult trees that were moved from a forest in the Normandy region in 1994.
Other trees such as Silver Birches, Oaks and Hornbeams all came from nurseries, yet there have been many other varieties added over the years including Wild Cherry and Black Elder trees. And as for the covering, or undergrowth, you can see different viarieties of ferns, heathers and numerous other plants including hyacinths and geraniums.
In addition to these points, because this is an ecologically managed garden in Paris, which is free from human interaction due to its location, the amount of fauna it has attracted has steadily grown and some species, birds for instance, have now made this their permanent home in a green space in the heart of the city.
The Exhibition Called Discovering the BNF Garden
The Bibliotheque National de France runs a few different libraries in Paris, and the history of the BNF is also fascinating, yet the forest garden is located at the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand, which is one of the most modern and largest libraries in the world, and this is where you can view the garden and enjoy a permanent exhibition.
This means that visitors can enjoy the flora and fauna through its picture windows, in an area of the library known as the Encyclopaedia Alley, and because of this aspect, it means no disturbing the wildlife and its resident inhabitants.
There are also presentation stands that have been put up along the windows looking out onto the forest garden, which illustrate different species of plants, trees, etc along with multi-sensory interfaces, so that you can experience different fragrances and also discover the calls and cries of birds that have made their home here.
However, for those that have a visual impairment, the text has been recorded and there are also plates made up for a tactile approach, and additional information added for explaining the embossed aspects.
This means that it is a great way to discover a natural environment without disturbing the habitat, yet because this area has been implemented in conjunction with the Natural History Museum in Paris, which is located within the Jardin des Plantes, experts monitor the Forest Garden of the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand and update the information as and when needed.
Visiting the Forest Garden at the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand in Paris
As you have no doubt already gathered, the Forest Garden is located within the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand, which is a part of the BNF, and this library is located close to the River Seine in the 13th Arrondissement.
You may be pleased to know that the Exhibition of the Forest Garden is completely free to access and is sometimes open on a Monday from 2pm through to 8pm, on a Tuesday to Saturday from 10am through to 7pm and on a Sunday from 1pm through to 7pm.
However, we would like to point out that it is not open at any other times, and is also closed on all National French holidays and some other specific holidays.
Access to the Forest Garden
When it comes to getting to the Forest Garden at the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand via public transport in Paris, you will find that the nearest Metro station is the Bibliotheque Francois-Mitterrand stop serving line 14, which is also an RER station serving the RER C line.
However, you also have the Quai de la Gare Metro station within walking distance of the library serving line 6, or alternatively, the bus lines 62, 64, 89, 132 and 325 will also get you close by, as will the Noctilien Line N133, which is the Night Bus Service that runs when other public transport has finished for the night.