Bonjour mon amis! Happy Travel Tuesday. As I mentioned in a previous post, Paris has far too many wonderful aspects to fit everything into one blog post so I am slowing breaking down my three trips there into multiple posts. Today I am going to tell you about the Jardin du Luxembourg. The Jardin du Luxembourg is the second largest public park in Paris and is located in the 6th arrondissement. It is a beautiful park, which makes you feel like you are no longer in the heart of Paris, rather, that you are on a French estate, in the countryside. I am assuming that that is precisely what Marie de Medici intended when she commisoned it in 1611. Marie was the widow of Henry IV and the regent for the King Louis XIII. She decided that she wanted to build a palace in imitation of the Pitti Palace in her native Florence.
She commissioned Salomon de Brosse to build the palace and a fountain, which still exists (the the photo of the Medici Fountain below). In 1612 she planted 2,000 elm trees, and directed a series of gardeners, most notably Tommaso Francini, to build a park in the style she had known as a child in Florence.
Today the palace in home to the French Senate and the park is open to the public. Children can often be found racing motor sailboats in the fountains, or running around in the grass. People come to sunbathe in the chairs surrounding the water, or to picnic in the grass amongst the statues. It’s a wonderful retreat after being immersed in the city all day. We stopped by a little shop on our way in and bought a box of decadent macaroons and a bottle of champagne to enjoy as the late afternoon sun shone down on us. It was a perfect Parisian moment, the kind that you need to savour so you can remember it when you’re back in your office, typing away at home. If only everyday consisted of macaroons and champagne in a Parisian park.