Jardin du Luxembourg :Grand Bassin!!

Ok folks lets go into higher gears in my eternal Paris. As said, a blog on its own should be more fitting but will give briefs on the wonderful things to see and do here, already with many many posts on Paris, the city I have great memories of working there while living nearby and now still visiting.

One of the places that is a must to go in Paris is the Jardin du  Luxembourg  , wonderful spots spent many afternoons with my boys there. Therefore, let me tell you about what we found best there, and I meant just the best for us. And why not start with the Grand Bassin or great basin or big pool.

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The Jardin du Luxembourg is one of the favorite green spaces for Parisians and tourists. It covers twenty-three hectares, twenty-one of which are open to the public. The fun part which my boys did enjoyed when came over to walks in Paris  was the rental of remotely operated boats that they maneuver on the Grand Bassin!! The majestic piece of water, octagonal in shape, was installed under the First Empire by Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin , Architect of king Louis XVI, ordering public holidays under the Consulate and designer-among other wonders of the Arc de Triomphe at Place de l’Etoile!

In front of the Senate of France in golden light, around the Grand Bassin nestles at the crossroads of two axes around which the powerful scenography of the premises revolves. At its center, it houses a fountain made up of three half-naked, half-draped cherubs, which emerge from a small landscape of stylised reeds and support a vase. From the basin a medium-sized central jet takes off and the water is poured out by two flow edges, spit out by chimeric heads. The work, anonymous, is simple and graceful. We don’t know much about it except where it comes from: the Domaine of Chantilly. The Senate would have acquired it in 1801 or 1802.

All around, on the shimmering water, the famous little sailboats frolic, childhood dreams and not only as adults enjoy it too..The Grand Bassin is also an exhibition space for majestic Canary date palms and a gallery of open-air sculptures .These date palms have long belonged to the botanical heritage of the Jardin du Luxembourg. During the winter, they are kept in the Orangerie, a building decorated with busts of great artists of the 19C. Such as Calliope, muse of epic poetry and eloquence. Calliope, mother of the poet Orpheus whose lyre she wears, wife of Apollo, god of the sun and light . The poets of Antiquity particularly liked to evoke it. The year of creation of this beautiful marble is unknown. Calliope would have been brought back to France after the siege of Sébastopol, in 1855 or 1856, by the Marshal Aimable Pélissier .She is represented in a fantastic way, the dolphin, faithful companion of the goddess of love and beauty, is associated with the fluids of life, with luxuriance but also with death and the ambivalence of water. Venus embody life but she is also, let us not forget, a psychopump goddess. Spring overlord, Flore brandishes the crown of poetic inspiration, an emblem of joy and fertility associated with the Floralies, celebrations of the renewal of nature which take place around April 15. As with Venus with the Dolphin, the author of the work is not identified. The creation date is unknown. This marble made according to the antique was visible in the Jardin du Luxembourg under the First Empire. There are two Flore marbles in Luxembourg, one located to the west and the other installed to the east of the Grand Bassin.

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There is a wonderful explanation of it at the Senate of France webpage in French of course, this is a government own place. Senate of France on the jardin du Luxembourg heritage

The tourist office of Paris has some info in English: Paris tourist office on the jardin du luxembourg

In all this is a wonderful time spent with families and a great rest stop while visiting. As I go by the Rue Guynemer for off street parking and the porte de Fleurus corner with Rue de Fleurus passing by the replica of the statue of LIberty which of course did not took a photo ::) .. this takes you straight to the Grand Bassin! And on my left the statue of Anne de Bretagne! Outside there is the nice Café Fleurus we enjoyed  as well as a bit further Le Guynemer! 

Hope you enjoy the Grand Bassin of the Jardin du Luxembourg of Paris of course. And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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