This fountain commerates Marie De Medici for whom this palace was built. The fountain was built in 1630, originally on the private royal gardens of the Luxembourg palace. After the revolution the park became private later becoming a public park.
On Sunday the weather held, so we had an uninterrupted performance of The Magic Flute in honor of the 250th birthday of its composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
It was sung in German with French titles. The performance was adequate but not outstanding. There were no Germans in the cast, but they sang the German text well enough; most professional singers can sing in any language if they are well enough prepared.
But the spoken dialogues were something else again. They sounded like a class play after an intermediate German class at the Goethe Institute. I would have given the tenor a B- and flunked everybody else.
But it was fun just seeing and hearing that great and very familiar opera in such a brilliant setting on a cool evening after a hot day of cycling.
Second photo: Here we all are getting up to leave at the end of the performance, shortly before midnight.
Third photo: The Luxembourg Gardens as seen from the Montparnasse Tower. If you enlarge the photo you might be able to make out the bleachers behind the palace.
Fourth photo: A wider view from the same vantage point, showing the Luxembourg Gardens surrounded by lots of city streets and buildings.
See also: my annotated list of Mozart’s operas in a travelogue on my Salzburg page.
The Jardin de Luxembourg is the largest public park in Paris. There is plenty of seats for people watching, people playing boules, children playing by the pond, vaious trees, plats, flowers, fountains and statues. The garden has numerous statues all over the grounds as well as figures of French Queens and female saints on pedestals.
The Palais du Luxembourg is also located in the park. The palace was build for Catherine de Medici.
When we came here it was late summer and the flowers were still in bloom. It was a nice relaxing day and we had a seat and did some people watching while enjoying some yummy macarons. It is one of Liz's favorite spots in Paris so I didn't mind indulging her a few hours of people watching and wandering about the park.
I can only envy the students of the Sorbonne who can come and study in these splendid gardens. The Jardins du Luxembourg is one of the most beautiful parks of the centre of Paris. It is a private garden belonging to the French Senate but open to the public.
What I like here it is the combination of trees, flowers, water basins, statues and an elegant palace. The park seemed rather quiet, at least at the time of my visit in August. There was less a crowd and much less sound of traffic than at the Tuileries gardens.
As for students I didn't see any; it was the academic holidays. Personally I have doubts as for my capacity to concentrate on a course like quantum mechanics in a so beautiful place. On the contrary studying history in the gardens of Luxembourg seems to me quite possible.
Indeed the gardens are decorated with 106 statues representing French artists and personalities, allegories and mythology subjects, steles, monuments, animals. Exceptional are the group of twenty statues from about 1843 of queens of France and famous women selected to celebrate only women.
The details of these statues can be found on the interactive web site of the French senate:
http://www.senat.fr/visite/jardin/map_steles.html (only in French)
The Jardins du Luxembourg are also children-friendly thanks to the sailing boats they can hire on the central pond, about 50 m wide, called the Grand Bassin. These boats were made since 1927 by a Mr. Pierre Paudeau. The Paudeau sailing boats with their typical top sail gaff are very "seaworthy" it appears, even by a gust of wind the boats do not capsize as one can see from my video.
Open during day-time. Free.
Quoique j'ai fait mes études dans une université presque aussi ancienne que la Sorbonne et dans une ville aux nombreux immeubles universitaires remontant aux siècles passés, je ne peux qu'envier les étudiants de la Sorbonne qui peuvent venir étudier dans ce magnifique parc que forment les jardins du Luxembourg. C'est un des plus beaux parcs du centre de Paris et il m'a semblé relativement calme, du moins lors de ma visite au mois d'août.
C'est un jardin privé appartenant au Sénat français mais ouvert au public.
Ce qui me plait ici c'est la combinaison de fleurs, pièces d'eau, statues et palais et aussi qu'il y a moins de monde, moins de bruit de la circulation qu'aux jardins des Tuileries.
Quant aux étudiants je n'en ai vu aucun; c'étaient les vacances académiques et encore un peu tôt pour ceux qui doivent présenter une deuxième session.
Personnellement j'ai des doutes quant à ma capacité de pouvoir me concentrer sur une matière comme la mécanique quantique dans un si bel endroit. Par contre étudier l'histoire dans les jardins du Luxembourg me semble tout à fait approprié.
En effet les jardins s'ornent de 106 statues représentant des artistes et personnalités, des antiques, allégories et mythologie, stèles, monuments, animaux. Ce qui est exceptionnel c'est un ensemble dune vingtaine de statues du milieu du 19e siècle de reines de France et femmes illustres choisies pour ne célébrer que des femmes.
Jardin du Luxembourg is Paris' second largest but arguably its most lively park. Like the Tuileries, much of it was originally the gardens of a royal palace but unlike that largest of the city's green spaces, the Luxembourg's palais is still here. Anchoring the north end of the park, Palais du Luxembourg was built by the widow of assassinated King Henri IV, Marie de' Medici, in the early 1600's. The story goes that she had requested that it model her childhood home in Florence, Palazzo Pitti, but other than layout the architect blithely, and wisely, produced a manse that's classically French. Its name comes from a smaller private home to the west of the palais known as the Petit-Luxembourg once owned by the Duc de Luxembourg and rebuilt during the same period.
Naughty Marie was a spender, meddler and altogether a thorn in the side of her son, Louis XIII - who finally had to send her packing and she never saw the completion of her gilded residence. This was not before she dumped a bunch of francs having Peter Paul Rubens commemorate her less-than-illustrious life in nearly several dozen paintings which now hang in the Louvre. Anyway, after she flounced off in a huff the pile was occupied by a succession of royalty, operated as a prison during the French Revolution, and was the headquarters of the Luftwaffe during the German occupation of WWII. It has housed the French Senate since mid-1800's, and the senate's President lives in the Petit-Luxembourg next door.
So, enough about the palace; you can't wander the interior anyway but here's a nice link with a virtual tour:
It's the gardens you come for. Although the central section is tightly symmetrical in design, there are enough nooks and crannies, cheerful flower beds, fountains and and shaded groves to soften the formality. Here you'll find everyone from seniors to students from the nearby Sorbonne strolling the paths, having lunch on the benches or just catching some rays. Traveling with tots? This is where you go for toy sailboat rentals, pony rides, playgrounds and puppet shows. There are also a couple of small cafes and over 100 monuments to browse; a must-do on a sunny day!
Be aware: The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Public toilets require a small payment. With the exception of a rare few, most lawns are posted "keep off the grass" ("pelouse non accessible" or "pelouse interdite").
My favored gardens in Paris, because they combine trees, many flowers, water basins, statues, fountain and an elegant palace, are the Jardins du Luxembourg. It's a private garden belonging to the French Senate, but open to the public and the French Senators apparently like an abundance of flowers under their windows.
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 Luxembourg Gardens were one of my favourite places in Paris. They are currently the gardens of the French Senate, which is housed nowadays in the Luxembourg Palace.
The Luxembourg Gardens date from 1611 when Marie de Medici, the widow of King Henry, decided to build a palace to remind her of her native Florence.
The Luxembourg Gardens have lots of flowers, statues and water features. They are a peaceful and calm place for a stroll.
When I visited the Luxembourg Gardens in October, 2013 the place was a riot of colour and lush green grassy areas. It was a reasonably pleasant day weatherwise, so I sat on a bench and watched the world go by before I embarked on a stroll around these truly beautiful grounds.
The statues are a delight and there are so many of them, it would take all day to read each one. All in all, this place is magnificent and should be allocated as much time as possible if the visitor is to really savour and enjoy it. I was reminded of Renoir paintings (21st century style).
The trees of the Jardin du Luxembourg are getting old. One third of the trees were planted before 1900. This is particularly the case in the eastern part of the garden on the Saint Michel side. There are phytosanitary concerns with nearly 40% of the trees!
In this context, a comprehensive multi-year renovation of trees has been developed and starts this year. The program plans to intervene in homogeneous areas to ensure optimum success of replanting. About 60 trees will be cut followed by replanting. So that there will be some noise of chain saws.
It only rained once during the ten days I was in Paris in June 2006, and that was –- you guessed it –- ten minutes before show time at an open-air opera performance in the Senate Gardens, which are in the Luxembourg Gardens right behind Luxembourg Palace.
A nice announcer on the PA system said the shower had been "annoncé pour cinq minutes" and thanked us for remaining in our seats. After five minutes the rain seemed to be letting up a bit, so they started the overture (the orchestra was under a roof, but someone had to hold an umbrella over the conductor) and the singers and dancers started doing their thing in the rain.
After a few more minutes it became clear that "ça n'a pas l'air de s'arranger", so they asked us to retain our tickets and come back the following Sunday evening, same time same place. This was lucky for me because Sunday was the only evening I still had free.
Later they sent an e-mail confirming the change of date, which I thought was very good service. They had my e-mail address because I had originally booked online.
Second photo: Here's what the venue looked like the day before while they were getting it set up.
Third photo: Here it's already looking a bit stormy. The building is Luxembourg Palace, which is the meeting place of the French Senate.
Fourth photo: I wasn't the only one to stop and take a picture of the Medici Fountain, which was commissioned in 1624 by the notorious Marie de Medici, widow of the murdered king Louis IV. I wonder what that voluminous lady would think of the recent funny addition to her reflecting pool.
Fifth photo: But I was the only one to stop and take a picture of this bust of Henri Murger (1822-1861), who is best known as the author of Scènes de la Vie de Bohème, the book that inspired Puccini's (and Leoncavallo's) opera La Bohème.
Surrounding the Palace is about 55 acres of park which was originally owned by the Duke of Luxembourg, hence the name. Marie de' Medici, mother of Louis XIII and wife of Henry IV was Italian, so she had the gardens laid out in Italian style. In the 19th century, the park was opened to the public and redesigned in a more French style, but the original layout has been preserved.
At the center of the park is an octagonal pond, known as the Grand Basin. Here, children can rent small boats, enjoy the puppet theater, go for a pony ride, or a ride on the merry-go-round. The day I was there, was quite sunny, so families were in the park. I noticed the little Boats on the pond, and the Ducks too!
The surrounding area is laid out in a geometrical pattern. I came across many statues scattered around the park.
A favorite of mine at the park, was the romantic Barouque Fountain de Medicis. Set in a peaceful setting under trees and at the end of a small pond, this fountain has the Greek mythological figure of Polyphemus watching over the lovers Acis and Galatea. It is flanked by allegorical figures depicting the rivers Seine and Rhone.
I could see this was a very popular park
The Luxembourg Gardens are open to the public all year around Summer 7.30 - 4.45pm
Winter 8.15 - 9.45pm
These beautiful gardens were opened to the public in the 19th Century. People could for a small fee go into the gardens and eat the fruit in the orchard. The fountain of the Medicis is a 17th Century fountain within the gardens.