Parks, Gardens, & Squares, Paris
The park in front and at the back of the Biron hotel -Musée Rodin is one of my preferred green places in Paris. I am not alone to feel so when I see Parisians installed for their midday pose on the comfortable seats located at the back of the ornamental pond.
It's quiet because the entry to the garden is not free (it costs 1 € but there exists a yearly subscription for 15€).
The garden, decorated with rose trees, between the Varenne street and the Biron Hotel, comprises three of the most known works of the sculptor Rodin.
On the side of the boulevard des Invalides stands the famous “Thinker-Penseur” besieged by all the photographers. It is the most prized souvenir's photo because here one finds the original of the twenty mouldings of the sculpture distributed in the museums of planet. Note that the "Thinker" presses his right elbow on his left knee. Nice for the photos is the background with the Tour Eiffel and the Dôme des Invalides.
Near the Varenne street stands the group of the “The Burghers of Calais - Bourgeois de Calais”; on the left stands that fantastic work called the “The Gates of Hell - Porte de l'Enfer".
Under the trees you will find 25 individual statues like this "Jacques de Wissant" from the “Burghers of Calais" group.
My favoured part of the garden is the pond with in the middle the remarkable sculpture of the count “Ugolin”. Remember your lecture of Dante's “Divine comedy” with Ugolin, walled up with his sons in the prison which will become their tomb, and who starving ends up eating his dead children.
With no transition, for those who might be hungry, I like to mention here the pleasant cafeteria in the garden. (re. my tip: Cafétéria le Jardin de Varenne
Garden open: Each day, closed on Monday.
1/04 - 30/09 from 9.30 till 18.45 h
1/10 - 31/03 from 10.00 till 17.45 h
Entry price garden: 1€
Musée Rodin - Jardin, 79 rue de Varenne, Paris 7e
The Jardins du Luxembourg are my favored gardens in Paris because they combine with such a perfection of trees, flowers, water basins, statues, fountain and an elegant palace.
First there is an abundance of flowers. It's a private garden belonging to the French Senate, but open to the public and the French Senators apparently like flowers.
It's also children-friendly thanks to the sailing boats on hire at the central pond, about 50 m wide, called the Grand Bassin. It is student friendly as there are a lot of seats where students from the nearby Sorbonne can study. There is less sound of traffic than at the Tuileries gardens.
Amateurs of art and history are pleased to find here 106 statues representing French artists and personalities, allegories and mythology subjects, steles, monuments, animals.
The cherry on the cake is the Palace du Luxembourg a very beautiful architectural unit which owes its name to the mansion belonging to François of Luxembourg which occupied the site in the 16th century. The estate was bought by Marie de Medici, regent of France. She had a new palace build in 1625 by architect Salomon de Brosse drawing inspiration from the Pitti palace in Florence.
From her time dates the romantic Medici fountain. The fountain is in the shadow of trees so that the water of the basin is dark like a mercury mirror.
The place to relax, especially on summer months when the garden looks like a beach. People are everywhere taking their sunbathe.
Fondest memory: "Le jardin du Luxembourg
Ça fait longtemps que je n'y étais pas venu
Il y a des enfants qui courent et des feuilles qui tombent
Il y a des étudiants qui rêvent qu'ils ont fini leurs études
Et des professeurs qui rêvent qu'ils les commencent
Il y a des amoureux qui remontent discrètement
Le tapis roux que l'automne a deroulé devant eux
Et puis il y a moi, je suis seul, j'ai un peu froid" (Joe Dassin)
The garden of Luxembourg
It is a long time since I had come there
There are children who run and leaves which fall
There are students who dream that they finished their studies
And professors who dream that they begin them
There are lovers who go inconspicuously
The red carpet spreaded out by the autumn in front of them
And then there is me, I am alone, I am a bit cold
I love parks & gardens, actually I'm from green city...
Two huges parks - Bois de Boulogne at the west of Paris and Bois de Vincennes at the east part - are saving parisians.
But there are a few famous gardens as Tuilleries or Luxembourg as well as less famous but also beautiful - the park of Monceau.
It's not raining all the time in Paris, so you can have a good rest in one of them, just find a suitable book somewhere in popular "Gibert Jeune" shop (la place St-Michel 5 arr. or Boulevard St-Denis 2 arr.) or somewhere at the second-hand book-sellers along the Seine...
My best way for respite
Favorite thing: There are so many options for eating and drinking in Paris, but one that deserves emphasis is picnics. On this day, we picked up cheese, fruit, bread, Orangina and some chocolates. We were staying on rue Cler, so were just around the corner from the Eiffel Tower and its huge park. We found a nice park bench and enjoyed the fine day, good food, people watching and this little beggar that was hungry enough to eat out of my hand. This is a great way to enjoy another dimension of Paris and there are so many wonderful parks and public places to picnic. Also, you are usually not far from some kind of store selling basic food items. The whole point is the picnic, not the cuisine although it is hard to beat a good baguette and good French cheese!
The most impressive thing about Paris, though it is a large city with many people and buildings, there is never a shortage of areas like this dedicated to beauty and art. It seems to add to the experience in a way that is quite unique. I wish that more cities could understand and appreciate this concept! What a Chamber of Commerce idea!
This was located just off of La Defense and easy walking distance from the hotel. Don't ask me what it's supposed to represent as I suppose that is up to each person to interpret in their own way... I just know that it was interesting and a pleasure to find and can be found throughout Paris!
This was yet another example of art for the masses! I came upon this in the same area just a short walk from La Defense and again it adds and provides a contrast to what would be only buildings otherwise...
As I scanned this picture, I noticed for the first time that while the oblisk seems to be perfectly vertical, the building in the background appears to be leaning inwards! Optical illusion? I have no idea... What do you think?
These gardens are considered the best in central Paris, located close to the Latin Quarter and within walking distance of Ile de la Cite and very close to the Pantheon. I recommend you make time to visit and possibly have lunch at the cafe within the gardens.
The gardens cover 60 acres and the landscaping takes in all aspects, including fountains, lakes, terraces, treed parklands etc. The magnificent 17th century Fontaine de Medicis is not to be missed. The gardens are very popular with the local residents who can be seen sunbathing or enjoying lunch on the lawns.
For those travelling by train alight at Notre Dame des Champs, for those walking follow Boulevard Saint Michel from the river.
On Jardins des Tuileries... We visited les Jardins after the exhibition at Louvres, my head still busy dealing with this "philtre" thingy. We were strolling in the park, enjoying it: the fountains, the benches and the statues. I found those statues beautiful. I especially like the women statues: round hips, some flesh on backside, some chin... You said "rubenesque" ?
It was at that moment when I said to my aunt and her bf: "Look ! This resembles Aunt My". Aunt My is another sister of my Mum. My aunt laughed, her bf too.. and she threatened to tell Aunt My about what I said. I thought it was a compliment to resemble those statues, but seems not. Oh well...
Fondest memory: Seeing statues of sensual and pulpy women in Paris parks and streets was nice and unusual for the Malagasy girl I was. Beauty everywhere. Things that Parisians don't notice anymore, they got used to it. But me, tourist, I noticed it, yes.
Again, as I said earlier, PDAs are not Malagasy's forte. Nudity either, at least not in the streets. You wouldn't find displayed, in Tana streets for instance, the sensuality of nude statues either. Sensuality, the charm of people lies in the reserve there. Yes.. I saw and learnt.
It was a typical first day in Europe for us...flew all night, slept practically not at all, it's 8:00 am here but our bodies insist it's 3:00 am and...way too early. Of course, our room won't be ready until the afternoon so the best we can do is drop off our luggage, find some coffee and see what is nearby. Happily we were staying in le Marais and very close to Place des Vosges.
We had walked around the square and its immediate alleys and adjoining streets for as long as we could physically endure. Finally, we just needed to sit and rest. We (most particularly me) trudged to the center of the square, walked through the sand walkways and turned our shoes into dust. We found our way to an available and, as it turns out, ubiquitous Paris bench. While probably the most uncomfortable bench I had ever encountered, it felt perfect.
Fondest memory: Intro Photo: The young woman in the photo seemed equally satisfied to have the cast iron support in the middle of her bare back and her duffel bag in the dust.
Photo 2: At this moment, a more idyllic stop would have been difficult to imagine. With it's shady lanes lined with precisely spaced and pruned trees, many local Parisians take a break while teenagers hurry back to school.
Photo 3: At another corner of the square carefree children playing under the close supervision of their nannies. It seemed an entirely safe and comfortable place.
Some people (like me ;-) ) tend to walk around a lot because they want to see ALL the beautiful things. In the first place that's impossible. Even Guyon who lives in Paris discovers everytime new things. And in the second place you would miss the special atmosphere of Paris.
Just sit down for a moment in one of the beautiful parcs of Paris, watch the people walk by and relax!
Look at the picture what we saw when we sat down at the Jardin des Tuileries. Sweet!
If you consider, how many sightseeing you should visit, then there is no wonder, tourism is the city's biggest industry, with more than 25 million visitors annually.
To the north is Montmartre and the church of Sacré Coeur contrasted with the exotic area of Pigalle red light district.
To the south is Montparnasse, home to many artistic movements of the last couple of centuries.
To the west is the Bois de Boulogne offering romantic views of waterfalls, majestic trees, an open-air Shakespeare theater and zoo.
To the east, the Bois de Vincennes - Paris' Lungs
In the very center are all the wonderful must-sees: the Louvre and D'Orsay museums; the Eiffel Tower; Notre Dame Cathedral; Place des Vosges; Place Vendôme; Place de la Concorde; the view up the Champs-Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe; the Jardin des Tuileries, the Jardin du Luxembourg.
Favorite thing: My fondest memory from the trip to Paris was the breathtaking beauty of the greenery around. Perhaps I was just in the right time of the year there or perhaps that's so typical of the beautiful city. All around there were parks, gardens and trees and I loved to be there.
Halfway down the hill of Montmartre, this is one of the most picturesque and animated squares in Paris.
If you come to Paris for the first time, start your excursion here, cause walking up the stairs coming out of the metro (Abesses station), you'll be pleasantly surprised when plunged in the authentic Parisian atmosphere.
Also the entrance of the "art nouveau" metro station with it's wrought iron arches and yellow lamps is wonderful (see the second picture).
Take a closer look at the handle bar of the Vespa scooter on the picture... yeah, this is France! :-)
How to get there: Metro station Abesses
Do a "promenade" in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont in the North East of Paris (Métro : Buttes Chaumont or Botzaris)
Fondest memory: Certainly, the most romantic garden of Paris. Rather unknown by the tourists. It covers 25 hectars and has 3,5 kilometers of 'promenade'.
A lake in the middle with an island relied by a bridge and on the top a tiny temple.
It was set up at the request of Napoleon III on the site of an ancient quarry.
The best place for couples of lovers.
Website (in English) : www.alkieski.com/inlink.html?
There are 400 gardens in Paris. See some of them on the travelogue :' Paris Gardens'