In its hour of glory, the garden must have been a fabulous place where one could take tea in a pavilion that overlooks the sublime landscape. Yet it became evident why the garden was supposed to be off limits when one of the wooden guardrails of a footbridge yielded to the slightest pressure.
I later found information on the Internet that part of the Chinagora project is being used as a warehouse. This would seem to be confirmed by the presence of a guard whom I spotted, standing in front of an office marked “Sécurité” on a side street. I also read that flight crews from China Airlines stay in the hotel. Anything to bring in some revenue!
It is pretty clear why the Chinagora project failed. Although lying only five miles from the heart of Paris, it is not serviced by convenient transportation. The closest metro stop is about 15 minutes away by foot. Two buses stop nearby, but Bus 125 only goes to the edge of Paris; and Bus 325 only goes as far as the National Library. In effect, anyone who wants to travel between Chinagora and Paris has to make an extraordinary effort.
It is regrettable that this monumental tribute to Chinese architecture and culture failed. May the magnificent phantom palace continue to sleep peacefully for a thousand years!
This is the last post in the series entitled “Visit to a Phantom Palace.”