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The Gillet family, some of the biggest industrialists in Lyon, had their private mansion called "Villa Gillet" built in Parc de la Cerisaie, situated in the Croix-Rousse area. The city council bought it in 1976 and it is now dedicated to art with a special section that promotes modern art (music, painting, sculpture, photography, video, literature etc). In the actual park, which is one of the nicest in the area, there are various sculptures (by J.B. Raynaud, B. Pagès and others) to be discovered.
Established in the 19th Century, Parc de la Tête d'Or is a cornucopia of entertainment, with its zoo, 5-hectare rose garden, an enormous greenhouse filled with exotic species, and a mysterious island. This lush green park is considered to be the lung of Lyon. With pony rides, jogging and cycling paths, a mini-golf course, a toy train track, and several sporting facilities, there is no shortage of entertainment here. There are also stalls for food and souvenirs. The Jardin Botanique de Lyon and the Statue which commemorates the twenty-second G7 conference are popular tourist attractions.
Residents of Lyon in search of nature are more often than not found in either the Miribel-Jonage or the Parc de la Tête d'Or. Enjoy the many activities offered on the lakes in Miribel park such as sailing and swimming. Why not also try abseiling from the nearby climbing wall? Cyclists and walkers are not forgotten either; there are many tracks around the lake. Miribel is particularly popular with families who come here to stroll, picnic or play football on one of the many lawns around the water. Basically, you can come here and forget how far you really are from the coast. Various sports and cultural events are organized at this park from time to time. Check website for more details.
Lacroix Laval park belongs to the castle which was rebuilt in the 17th century. In the early 18th century the new owner had the gardens landscaped in a typical French style: austere well-planned lines. Most of the garden has been preserved so you can see the lawns, central pond where two alleys cross, the vegetable garden and the greenhouse which looks like the one in the Tête d'Or Park. The only part that has disappeared is the orchard. The castle and this park are situated inside another 119 hectare park with lawns, ponds and a forest where the locals come to jog and stroll.