Address Luxembourg Gardens 75006 Paris, France

Marie de Médicis changed the destiny of this private mansion and its 8-hectare park built in 1581 by Duke François de Luxembourg, who gave it his name.

Wishing to leave the Louvre, which she found too dirty, the widow of Henri IV and mother of Louis XIII, bought the place in 1611. She propelled them into another dimension with the construction of a palace inspired by that of Pitti in Florence, the arrival of Italian artists to decorate it and the increase in the surface area of the garden, the design and layout of which she entrusted to Jacques Boyceau and then to André Le Nôtre.

At her death in 1642, the estate remained in the royal family and then, during the Revolution, the place was used as a prison where Georges Danton and Camille Desmoulins were held. The garden fell into disuse. The Directory moved to the Luxembourg in 1795 and after the coup d’état of 18 Brumaire (9 November 1799), Napoleon Bonaparte decided to establish the Senate there while wishing that the gardens were intended for children and developed accordingly.

The great works of Baron Haussman will slightly reduce its surface, and it will not be modified thereafter. Today, the park covers 25 hectares, 23 of which are open to the public, with greenhouses, an orangery, 160 statues, and is bordered by the Luxembourg Palace, the Petit Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Museum, the first French museum to open in 1750, and the former Hôtel de Vendôme.

A sublime setting for a jewel case very popular with Parisians. There are many distractions with bandstands, bowling alleys, chess games, walks, exhibitions, ponds where many miniature boats sail, and even initiations to beekeeping without forgetting the many benches, tables and 4,000 chairs available to visitors.

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