lake of Parc Montsouris
We’re gonna cross the street back towards the park, and then turn left, keeping the fence of Park Montsouris to our right as we walk down the street.
As you walk, peek through the fence until you see a lake. Lake Montsouris is completely artificial and is filled with water coming from the Medici aqueduct. The sections of the aqueduct you saw got disconnected, but the rest still brings water from the countryside to keep the ducks and fish happy!
To your left are public toilets, they’re free and self-cleaning. They will talk to you in French, and will even confirm the type of flush you select.
Talking about flushing, legend has it that lake Montsouris emptied itself on the day of the inauguration in May 1878, driving the engineer who designed the lake to commit suicide. As often, there’s a grain of truth and some inaccuracies.
First, yes, the lake did collapse and emptied itself into the quarries below. But it actually happened three times. Once during construction, then a second time one week after the inauguration. It was at night, no one got hurt. And then a third time, in December 1878. The engineer in charge was named Emile Nouton. He was working for Alphand, and he did commit suicide a few days after the lake emptied a second time, in early June. He did not leave a note, so we will never know whether it actually was because of the big flush.
Keep walking down the street, keeping the park’s fence to your right. We're going around the park, so we'll turn right at the corner, into rue Gazan.