Jardin du Luxembourg: A History


Gardens fit for A Queen, A Love Story, and Children

Tucked away in the 6th Arrondissement, is a large garden known as one of Paris' most beautiful gardens and a great place for kids. And because it is not as centrally located as the Tuileries Gardens, it is less crowded in the summer and offers a lot of activities for children. Between the rides, the puppet shows, and sometimes mini carnivals, this garden is a fun place to take the kids. But it hasn't always been the main attraction for children and their families. In fact, it had very royal beginnings.

Built for a queen

Marie de Medici, the wife of Henry IV, of Florentine decent, wanted to build gardens for her new palace. She designed the palace to look like the Piti Palace in Florence and used Italian architects to design the gardens and the famous de Medici Fountain.

Poor maintenance

After the end of Marie de Medici's reign, the monarchs that followed failed to keep up with the gardens. The fountain was almost completely destroyed and the gardens were almost forgotten. The once royal gardens started decomposing to ruble, forgotten about by the kings more concerned with building newer gardens in their names.

Part of the Gardens

Thank the Revolution

Thankfully for the gardens, the French Revolution took it upon itself to expand and rebuild the gardens. The Medici Fountains were rebuilt and brought back to its days of glory. More land was added to the gardens as well. And this construction didn't end with the revolution. Napoleon continued with the upkeep, and so did those who followed after him.

A setting for a classic

Ever heard of Les Miserables? The moment where Marius first meets Cosette takes place in the Luxembourg Gardens. So for all you book people out there, you might just appreciate this lovely area just a little more.

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