This is Abraham, he is a rabbit that I met today in Montmatre Park or more colloquially ”Rabbit Park”. In southern Seoul, in the Gangnam district, there is a park named after the Montmartre district in Paris. In this park there is a small rabbit colony living freely and they are being taken care of by volunteers that give them food every day.
I met one of the care takers and she told me that the gray rabbit’s name was Abraham. Even though there are many park visitors with dogs, Abraham and his friends are safe. This is because the park has put up instructions to dog owners that they need to put their dogs in leach when they enter the park. Abraham and his friends also had wooden huts that they could relax in.
So, why is the park called Montmartre? Partly because it is located on a hill, just like the French original district, and also because it placed in Seorae Village (little France), home to the largest French population in South Korea.
Montmarte Park is a tribute to the friendship between South Korea and France, and everywhere you can read famous poems from artists that were active the in Montmarte artist circles around the late 1900s.
As a matter of fact, Montmarte has more rabbit connections than just Abraham. There is a famous cabaret theatre called Au Lapin Agile (the lively rabbit) in Montmarte, and one of the most famous characters in the post-impressionist period Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec made several lithographs with rabbits, the most famous one being La valse de lapins (The waltz of the rabbits). More about Au Lapin Agile and Toulouse-Lautrec in later posts.