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 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.
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.
We decided to go to St Germain des Pres, 6e, where one finds the Jardin du Luxembourg.
Our kids loved this place, although it would have been better if we went during the summer because there would have been a toy boat pond, pony rides and the puppet theater would be open. But we were content just walking around the massive pond…and then all of a sudden, it rained!
We scrambled/fumbled for our umbrellas which were still in our backpacks, couldn’t open them and just ran for cover – it was hilarious. We got wet but had so much fun.
And then our pictures came out so nice later with the kids holding their umbrellas in front of the palais du Luxembourg which was built by orders of Marie de Medici, the queen of King Henri IV. It is said that in Florence, a similar palace exists –the Palazzo Pitti, which was the childhood palace of the queen herself who was homesick.
I have also read that there is a Statue of Liberty somewhere in the park, but I always miss it! Next time…
The Luxembourg Gardens are one of the treasures of the Latin Quarter. There is something for everyone. They are a lovely place to visit with or without children. There is an art gallery, a lovely fountain with toy sailboats for rent for children, pony rides, puppet shows, lots of concerts, sculptures (including a Statue of Liberty), tennis courts, boules courts, chess games to play or watch, playgrounds and flowers . . . and chairs to enjoy it all.
Don't miss the Medici Fountain near the concert venue. It is just beautiful and a very romantic place in Paris. I once recommended the Medici Fountain as a good place to propose when a young man asked about it on the Forum. It would be perfect for a proposal . . . don't forget the flowers.
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").
A beautiful garden just down he road from the Pantheon, one of the most loveliest. With area stretching 60 acres, its hard not to be pampered by its beautuful sculptures peppered all over the garden ....really a place to sit and relax after a long walk ...( this shold be included in your itineraty if you are visiting the Latin Quarter )
A Bit of History
The Luxembourg Palace was built for Marie de Medicis in the years 1615-1627. The architect Salomon de Brosse, designed it as a Florentine palace because Marie de Medicis liked this style. He was the son of Jean de Brosse, another architect and he inherited the position as the architect of Marie de Medicis from his uncle Jacques II Androuet Du Cerceau. (Other works by Salomon de Brosse include the aqueduct of Arcueil in 1624.)
For the decorations and the embellishments, Rubens paintings adorn the walls of the large gallery and the library has the masterpieces of Eugene Delacroix. The uses of the palace have changed multiple times. For example, it was a prison during the Revolution. It currently houses the Senate.
The gardens of Luxembourg surround the palace. This large park, which has sprawling lawns and abundant flowers, always astonishes its visitors with its harmonious paths, the beauty of its flowers and the shadows under its trees. All the people, young and old, enjoy themselves in the gardens. The children can rent boats and sail in the glassy ponds while the elders play chess under awnings. Moreover, there are many statues of the queens of France, including a figure of Saint Genevieve, the patron of Paris.
These beautiful gardens were created by order of Marie de Medicis back in 1612 and have become one of the most popular places in Paris to hang out on a sunny afternoon. Students often gather in the Jardins du Luxembourg to read and study, while children play by the fountain and workers stop by with a sandwich for lunch. The gardens are bordered by the beautiful Palais du Luxembourg, near rue Vaugirard, which was built for Queen Marie de Medicis and her son King Louis XIII, and which now houses the Senate. There are about 100 beautiful sculptures spread out through the French and English gardens, and one of the highlights of the gardens is the Fontaine de Medicis, once again built according to the plans of King Henry IV's widow.
The gardens are open from sunrise to sunset, admission is free, but remember to bring a few coins (20 p.) to use the public restrooms. A really great place for a nice picnic!
One reason I love Paris is that one can escape to a park almost anywhere in the city.
Le Jardin du Luxembourg is one of the most famous and honestly one of the best in Paris. It borders both the 6th and the 14th districts location-wise.
It was once the private property of Queen Marie de Medici and her palace has been used since 1958 as the Senate. She requested the palace be built to resemble her girlhood home in Florence, Pitti Palace.
You can sit in any of the green metal chairs surrounding the grounds where beautiful flowers bloom in abundance in sunny months. Also there are many activities for kids such as playgrounds, marionette shows and sailboating. Adults may partake in chess tournaments daily, rain or shine!
If you're looking for a bit of peace and quiet, or a nice green space to relax in, then the Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) is a good place to go. It's more sheltered than many of the other central Parisian parks, and the many trees planted at it's edges makes it feel further from the street than it actually is. There are some nice statues to take a look at, and plenty of benches for a sit-down. A great spot for a sunny day.
At the northern end of the gardens there is a large mansion - the Palais du Luxembourg. It sometimes opens for art exhibitions, but mostly it's just there to be admired from the outside...
The park is open from dawn to dusk daily.
When I went to school here, I used to have to cut across it early in the morning to get from my dorm to class. I did this so early in the morning that it was just gardeners and squirrels and I’ve often wondered if maybe I wasn’t really allowed in; that I just sort of did it without realizing I was breaking rules. Anyway, this is without a doubt one of the best free treats in the city. For those traveling with little ones, be sure to let them romp in the part of the park that’s reserved for five-year-olds. When they’re worn out, bring them over to the Fontaine de Medicis for some cool shade and rest. There’s even a bee-keeping school on the grounds. When you go, tell the squirrels I said “hi.”
The 21 hectares of green spaces around Palais du Luxembourg were opened to the public around 1780.
Beautifully adorned with statues and a grand basin, Jardin du Luxembourg has a quite formal layout with perpendicular alleys.
During the summer months and non only, the green park is attracting many students and young persons coming here to spend a little time to play tennis or just have a pleasant walk.
Straight ahead, entrance from Boulevard Saint-Michel, a wonderful view of Tour Montparnasse can be admired.