Luxembourg gardens Paris is the garden area for the Luxembourg palace (where the French senate assembles), with over 100 statues, fountains, and other monuments.
Jardin du Luxembourg is probably the most popular park in Paris, with a great central location…close to the Sorbonne university and the famous Quartier Latin district.
The 22.45 hectare gardens (55.48 acres) were build from 1612 onwards, in the French gardening style.
Originally, the magnificent gardens were only open to the French rulers, but this changed during the 19th century, when the place was re-opened as a public park.
PHOTO: View to the Luxembourg palace and its gardens.
PHOTO: Luxembourg palace has been used by the French senate since the events of the French Revolution, from 1795. In the summer, the Grand Bassin in front of the palace is popular for local children to float the model boats. For families, there is also a Marionette theater in the gardens.
PHOTO: A view to the 22.45 hectare (55.48 acre) gardens from the Grand Bassin. The gardens continue as “Jardin Marco Polo” almost to the Observatoire de Paris. The obelisk monument in the picture is by Aimé Jules Dalou (from 1908), and dedicated to the memory of Senator Auguste Scheurer-Kestner. The statues surrounding the obelisk are allegorical to justice and truth.
PHOTO: One of the most famous highlights of the Luxembourg palace is its Fontaine de Medicis, a Baroque fountain from 1624…by Florentine Tomasso Francini, who designed it in Italian Renaissance style.
PHOTO: A closeup of Fontaine de Medicis statues. The artwork,”Polyphemus Surprising Acis and Galatea“, is by Auguste Ottin, added to the fountain in 1866.
PHOTO: A closeup of the first draft copy of the “Statue of Liberty” by Frédéric Barthold, from 1870, at the Luxembourg gardens. The more famous (and bigger!) copy is located, of course, in front of the New York City harbor.
PHOTO: “Fontaine des Quatre-Parties-du-Monde” at the Jardin Marco Polo, by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux…officially “Fontaine de l’Observatoire“. The four female statues of the fountain are allegorical to four corners of the world: Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. The statues turn their bodies, to turn the globe they are carrying, giving the monument a feeling of movement.
PHOTO: Musée du Luxembourg (www.museeduluxembourg.fr), build during 1884 – 1886, is an art museum at the northern entrance to the gardens.
Construction of the Palais du Luxembourg, was, in fact, started after, the work on the gardens had begun…
….as the palace was added to the northern end of the area, 1615-1627, commissioned by Marie de Medicis, King Louis XIII’s mother.
Architect Salomon de Brosse used de Medicis’ birthplace, Florence, as his inspiration for the palace, with the famous Palazzo Pitti as one of the sources.
Today, the palace is used by the French senate, but during its history the buildings have also housed…
- a prison (during the French Revolution),
- an art museum (1750-1779), and
- official residences of Napoleon Bonaparte (1800 to 1804), during the years as his status “Premier Consul” (before declaring himself an Emperor in 1804).
All in all, the Luxembourg gardens Paris have over 100 statues, monuments, and fountains, the most famous of which is the Medici Fountain (La fontaine Médicis) from 1630…
…a design by Florentian architect Tomasso Francini for Marie de’ Medici.
You can also find a large, fenced playground for families within the park, that has a a historic carousel and pony rides.
There’s also the Luxembourg gardens Paris pavilion, where free music concerts take place. One of the best locations to enjoy these concerts is from the terrace of the small cafe next door to the pavilion.
The official website has, for example, pictures of each of the 106 statues in the gardens, and timetables for the free concerts and events in the park.