Les buttes have an interesting story, both fascinating and macabre. After the Revolution in 1789, the site became a refuse dump, then a place for cutting up horse carcasses and finally a depository for sewage! It goes without saying that the site spread infectious emanations all over the city due to strong winds. As if it wasn't bad enough Les Buttes had a sinister reputation due to the near location of the infamous Gibbet Montfaucon, where executed criminals and traitor were hanging on gallows to display their dead bodies as a warning to the population!
Through time parts of the same site were used as a quarry for gypsum, and fossils were also discovered. Les Buttes didn't have a good start, to say the least. So when Baron Haussemann decided to make it a park in 1864 there was resistance and it raised eyebrows!! The park was finally opened on April 1, 1867, coinciding with the opening of the Paris Universal Exposition, and instantly became a popular success with the Parisians.
Note: In case you didn't know the name Chaumont, in Buttes Chaumont, comes from the words 'chauve-mont' (bald/bare hill).
THE CIRCLE BELOW SHOWS WHERE GIBBET MONTFAUCON WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE 13TH CENTURY: