Travel Tuesday: Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

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.

Travel Tuesday: Père Lachaise Cemetery

Happy Travel Tuesday all! I think these are probably my favourite posts to do. Travelling is my passion and I love to relive my trips through photos. I was going to do a post on Paris today and then I realized how ridiculous that was…I mean, I could devote a whole blog to Paris alone, how could I sum it up in one post. So, I decided that I would do pieces of Paris as individual posts and today I am going to show you some photos I took in the Père Lachaise Cemetery (or Cimetière du Père-Lachaise in French) during my trip in 2010 (I’ve been to Paris four times).

Père Lachaise is a popular tourist destination in Paris, as many famous people such as Honoré de Balzac, Claude Bernard, Frédéric Chopin, Isadora Duncan, Jim Morrison, Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde and Richard Wright are buried there. If you just go there to see Jim Morrison;s grave you will be missing out on a wonderful experience. The architecture in this cemetery is incredible. So many of the tombstones are like works of art, I could have spent a few days looking at everything rather than just a few hours. The history is incredible, the first grave dates all the way back to 1804!

Also not to be missed while you are there is the eerily beautiful Communards’ Wall (Mur des Fédérés) where, on May 28, 1871, one-hundred forty-seven fédérés, combatants of the Paris Commune, were shot and thrown in an open trench at the foot of the wall. To the French left, especially socialists and communists, the wall became the symbol of the people’s struggle for their liberty and ideals. Many leaders of the French Communist Party, especially those involved in the French resistance, are buried nearby. Sculptor, Paul Moreau-Vauthier created the monument to serve as a memory of those Communards shot and killed. I have no idea how he made this wall, you’ll see what I mean in the photos below, it looks like the Communards are coming out at you…like I said eerie but beautiful.