« European Parks

Jardin d'Acclimatation

Paris, Île-de-France, France

Sitting on the west side of Paris, this 19-hectare (47-acre) park has a somewhat troubling history. Way back in 1860, it was opened by Napoléon III and Empress Eugénie and was known as the Jardin Zoologique d'Acclimatation, or Zoological Acclimatization Garden in English. It was a place where plants and animals removed from French colonies could acclimate to France's meteorological climate. The animals may have adjusted to the Parisian weather, but many were eaten as meat ran out during the Siege of Paris that took place at the end of the Franco-Prussian War in late 1870. While many starving Parisians were forced to cat, dog, and rat meat, camels, bears, and even the famous elephants named Castor and Pollux were slaughtered and served in fancy Paris restaurants during the siege. A few years later, the park changed to l'Acclimatation Anthropologique, or Anthropological Acclimatization in English. This troubling time marked the park's transition into a human zoo! In the middle of colonialism, Nubians, Bushmen, Zulus, and Hottentots from Africa, Kalmyks from Siberia, Native Americans from Nebraska, Kanaks from New Caledonia, and Inuit from Greenland were on display as "ethnological exhibitions" for visitors to ogle. As late as 1931, groups were enticed to live at the park to be put on display. Around the time of World War II, the park finally removed its human exhibits. The park declined greatly during both World Wars, and was eventually sold to a local resident in 1952. The LVMH Group, a French luxury goods group which includes Louis Vuitton, acquired the park in 1984 and began to concentrate the park once again on small animals and amusement park rides for children.

In 2023, Dragon Chinois closed (see pictures below for details), and Fils du Dragon opened. It is a Big Apple model children's coaster built by the Turkish Kılıç Lunapark company, a group that seems to have only built copies of Dragon Wagon, Big Apple, and Wacky Worm kiddie coasters.


Dragon Chinois

Souris Mécaniques

(formerly Papillons d'Alice)

Speed Rockets