There are quite possibly hundreds of little community gardens nestled within the various arrondissements of Paris. But today I want to share with you two of the large public gardens, Le Jardin du Luxembourg and the Jardin des Tuileries.
Keep reading for more breathtaking photos and history.
Happy poppies were found in the Luxembourg garden.
Luxembourg garden or Jardin du Luxembourg is the second largest public garden in Paris. It was created by Marie de' Medici wife of King Henry IV from the house of Bourbon.
Queen Marie began building Luxembourg Palace in 1611 and began planting trees in 1612. There has been a long history of transformations but the palace has now been the seat of the of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic since 1958.
On the weekends children sail boats, which can be rented, on the large basin of water which also provides a small house for ducks.
In my opinion the showstopper of the garden is the Medici Fountain.
It was originally built in 1630 and moved to its present location and extensively rebuilt in 1864-66. The fountain is done in the Italian mannerist style and was created by several Florentine artists and sculptors.
Trained ivy lines the sides of the pond that leads to the fountain.
The sculpture “Polyphemus Surprising Acis and Galatea” was added to the fountain in 1866 by the talented sculptor Auguste Ottin.
At the top of the fountain are two original statues which were created by the sculptor Pierre Biard.
Ovid’s ill fated lovers, Acis and Galatea, are beautifully romantic.
If you are traveling with children they will enjoy the Guignol de Luxembourg or the French marionettes of Luxembourg Gardens. The theater is open Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and school holidays. The shows are very inexpensive and quite entertaining.
Next is the Jardin des Tuileries. It was created by Catherine de' Medici, wife of King Henry II, in 1564 for the Tuileries Palace, which sadly was burned in 1871. The name literally means “tile works” and was given as tile factories long ago stood on the site where the palace was built. The garden became a public park after the French Revolution.
The famous trees are only grown to a certain height and heavily pruned. They were laid out on a central axis to showcase the Louvre. I believe that the trees are chestnut based on research. Please advise if this is not correct.
A group of gentlemen were enjoying a game of pétanque which is very similar to bocce ball.
The flowers are ever changing with the seasons. Early May features bearded iris in various shades of lavender.
The hollyhocks were glorious.
Sculpture abounds in the garden. This is “Le Bon Samaritain” (the Good Samaritan) created by François-Léon Sicard in 1896.
Darling metal garden chairs dot the entire area and on sunny afternoons it can be difficult to find an empty seat.
Napoleon Bonaparte moved to the Tuileries Palace on February 19, 1800. He built a small triumphal arch near the Place du Caroussel, known as the Arc de triomphe du Carrousel, to create a ceremonial entrance to the palace.
Through the arch you can see I. M. Pei’s glass pyramid which serves as the main entrance to the Louvre.
But don’t get too distracted by the pyramid as the arch is glorious in and of itself.
Apprécier les fleurs,
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