There is no shortage of gardens in Paris and trying to decide which one is the best is a tough decision to make. However, this one has to be at the top of the list.
These gardens were inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy, and were created at the behest of Queen Marie de Medici in 1612. Being of Italian blood she wished to bring some beauty from her homeland to France. She accomplished this after her husband, Henri IV, was assassinated. Marie de Medici herself is featured in the garden as a marble statue, added in the 1840s.
The Luxembourg Palace is situated at the end of the gardens. It became a prison during the French Revolution and during World War II, the Germans used the building as barracks and dug a bunker in the garden. It was also the last home for prisoners headed to the guillotine and now houses the French Senate.
Wander around the palace to the Orangerie where busts of French artists are set. This space is often used to showcase art exhibits, especially during the summer months.
The Luxembourg Garden is one of the most charming locations in Paris and is an ideal place for picnics. You will find the green space crowded with tourists and locals alike during beautiful days in Paris. Kids love the tiny sailboats in the pond in front of the palace. This tradition dates back to the 1920s.
The Medici Fountain adds a bit of moodiness to an otherwise bright place. It is shaded and features a long basin of water that is surrounded by urns filled with flowers. The main statue depicts Polyphemus, a huge figure that looms over the lovers Acis and Galatea who are resting on a moss-covered dais. Flowers and trees are scattered throughout, and beehives can be found in the garden. There are tree-lined promenades, small ponds, and fountains. Look closely and you will find a small Lady Liberty. Being the largest garden in Paris there is something for everyone here.
Guided tours led by one of the park’s gardeners are generally available on the first Wednesday of the month from April to October. See the Jardin du Luxembourg website for details. Meeting point: in front of the Observatoire gate giving on to Place André Honnorat at 9.30 a.m.
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