The Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione Circus in Paris
Paris has always been at the forefront of entertainment from live music events through to cabaret shows in Paris, and yet there are also some more unusual forms of entertainment including circuses, which are ideal for a fun day out with all the family when visiting Paris.
The idea of a circus with the impressive acrobatic acts, the flying trapeze, the animals and of course the clowns for their fun and laughter is something that enthrals both young and old. And the Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione is one such circus in Paris that you will not want to miss whilst on holiday in Paris.
In fact, the history of the Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione is fascinating in itself, as it the oldest running circus in the world and has been run by the same family since the 1930s, where they continue the tradition and with their passion they are keeping the circus arts alive for everyone to enjoy.
The building was originally purpose built for the world of circus acts, which were meant to be for more equestrian shows in Paris and these expanded into a true circus over the years, yet because of how the building was designed, no matter where you sit, you will get an uninterrupted view of the ring, as there is no centre pole like you get in normal circus tents.
Also, right in the heart of the building, the Bouglione family have now installed a museum called the Musee Bouglione that shows the history of circuses along with old props, costumes etc that have been collected over the years, many of these from past performances, which is also a fascinating place to visit.
Now, Cirque d’Hiver means winter circus and this is because the Bouglione circus only runs from October through to March, as there are many other shows that take place in this historical building at other times of the year, such as dressage and other equestrian shows, concerts, etc.
But getting back to the circus itself, reservations are normally essential, as each show can only hold around two thousand people and it has become famous throughout the world with top class circus acts from artists all over the world, like from Russia that has a long circus history, and they work alongside the generations of the Bouglione family.
And each year has an entirely different show format and they have their very own orchestra, plus you can get to see dancers, daring acts including the traditional flying trapeze and many different animals from horses through to tigers.
The creation or spectacle for 2012 and 2013 of the choreographed show at the Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione is called Eciat and this has acrobats, trapeze artists, dogs, horses, tigers, of course the clowns and much, much more to enjoy, that are all presented by the Ringmaster, which will keep everyone from the youngest to the oldest completely enthralled.
As with most places that you would go to for entertainment in Paris, the stalls at the front by the ring are of course the most expensive seats at the circus, and they are an average cost of €50 per ticket, but they are cheaper as you get further back. But most children like to be near the front to really experience all the action and if you can splash out, then it is well worth it, especially if you have young children, as there will not be anyone in front of them that may obscure their views.
Most of the shows are afternoon performances and tickets can be booked via phone or online, although booking for that season normally only starts from around July prior to the first shows in October.
The Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione or winter circus, is located in the 11th Arrondissement of Paris and it is situated close to the Place de la Bastille in between that and the Place de la Republique on the Rue Amelot, and the nearest Metro station is called the Filles du Calvaire.