If you followed my advice and took the metro to Montreuil to discover its cinema Méliès, take the opportunity to travel in time and through nature by discovering the city’s peach walls.
If Montreuil is today a classic suburban city of Eastern Paris, largely developed at the end of the 19th century due to the multiplication of factories, before that it was a village where rich Parisians had a house in order to take advantage of the fresh air of the countryside and the reputation of its peaches.
The peach walls appeared in the 17th century in order to promote fruit cultivation. Nearly 3 meters high, they allowed to protect the peach trees from bad weather and to keep the heat of the sun. It was thus possible to grow southern fruits like cherries and strawberries in the Paris region.
For 200 years, the peaches of Montreuil made the reputation of the village in all the courts of Europe and even in Russia. Numerous varieties of peaches currently cultivated in the world, such as the Prince of Wales, were created in Montreuil.
At their peak, in the second half of the 19th century, the peach walls covered more than a third of the city with 600 km of walls, provided 17 million fruits and largely overflowed to the surrounding cities.
Today, there are only 17 km of walls maintained by the Peach Walls Association. It is not much but it allows a nice walk, surrounded by trees, flowers and fruits, away from the concrete.