Jardin du Luxembourg: 6e

Luxembourg garden

The Jardin de Luxembourg is a popular Parisian hangout, as the 23 hectare garden offers a range of activities. Home to beautifully landscaped spaces, a palace and a museum, the Jardin de Luxembourg caters to runners, readers, kids and the elderly alike.

The garden was created in 1612, by Marie de Medicis, who wanted it to resemble her childhood favourite- the Pitti Palace gardens of Florence (her native land). Hence, the Luxembourg garden started off with just 8 hectares of land, fitted with a château, fountain and several elm trees. Marie de Medicis expanded the gardens shortly after this. However upon her demise, the garden was neglected. It was restored only after the French Revolution, where it maintained its formal French garden setting, fitted with more sculptures, ornamental gates and fences, as well as several types of flowers. Today, the Jardin de Luxembourg is a calm and charming space that features a well-landscaped façade with pretty tulip and daffodil beds, orchards as well as an Apiary (Rucher du Luxembourg).

The north end of the garden is still home to Marie de Medicis’ palace- Palais du Luxembourg, which is now home to the French Senate (since 1958). Its rich interior can be sighted via guided tours (offered only by the senate) [+33 144541949 www.senat.fr/visite/visiter.html]. The palace also used to house the Musée du Luxembourg [19 rue de Vaugirard, +33 140136200 http://www.museeduluxembourg.fr ad/ch €11/7.50] which held its first public exhibition in 1750. The museum moved out of the palace and into its neighbouring structure, between 1884 and 1886. From then one, it functioned on and off, due to financial and artistic reasons. However, its traditional value has been recognised and it is currently being maintained by the Senate itself, which allows the space to be used for top-notch temporary exhibitions.