Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Luxembourg Palace & Garden, Paris, France

View of the Luxembourg Palace and main fountain and boat pond.

The Luxembourg Palace is located at 15 rue de Vaugirard in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. It was originally built between 1615 and 1645 to be the royal residence of the regent Marie de Médicis, mother of Louis XIII of France. After the Revolution it was refashioned into a legislative building between 1835-1836 it was enlarged and remodeled. Since 1958 it has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic. On the south side of the palace, the formal Luxembourg Garden presents a 25-hectare green parterre of gravel and lawn populated with statues and large basins of water where children sail model boats, some of which can be seen in the video below. Source: Wikipedia.

View overlooking the main fountain and central garden

Like many of the other magnificent buildings and palaces around Paris, and indeed elsewhere in France, one can only marvel at the amount of planning, money, labor, and resources that must have gone into erecting this massive palace, and into landscaping and maintaining the stunning gardens on which the palace and other buildings stand.

Today, the palace building is the home of the French senate. During my brief three of four hour visit to the palace grounds, I did not enter the main building itself. In fact, I'm not even sure if the building is open to the general public. However, the beautifully maintained gardens are open, and during my outing they were well patronized by locals and international visitors alike. There is much to see around the grounds including a series of statues of former French queens, saints and reproductions of classical Antiques.
L'acteur Grec (The Greek Actor), by Arthur Bourgeois (1838-1886)

You can wander through an orchard of apple and pear trees, enjoy a performance of the théâtre des marionnettes (puppet theatre), ride on a vintage carousel, enjoy one of the many free musical performances scheduled throughout the summer months, and visit the Orangerie with its displays of art, photography, and numerous sculptures. The grounds of the garden also contain more than one hundred statues, monuments, and fountains scattered throughout the 25-hectares (61 acres), including Frédéric Bartholdi’s first 1870 model for the Statue of Liberty.

Here's a short video compilation of photographs and video footage I put together of my visit:

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