Jardin du Luxembourg of Paris!!!

You like the title , very unique classic no need for creativity, heck the name along should suffix. One of the grand site of my eternal Paris. Coming here since neons times and then with my boys to ride the boats in the basin, and more. Coming for work, I even stop by bus 82 to take glimpses of it. It is a sublime garden park, that is the Jardin du Luxembourg of Paris!!!

I have to update this post from 2016 but instead of pictures already in individual posts of the garden let me tell you a black and white description with history I like.  The Jardin du Luxembourg is a famous garden in the middle of Paris known to the world and still a favorite place of Parisians families. It is one of my favorites too.

After having worked in the city for 9 years, I used to take many leisure times around the city sometimes just to kill time before going home to Versailles. This is one of the gardens I found with locals and ever since took my family here on weekends. The sailing wooden boats is a tradition that we took with the boys as well.  Not to mention the museum part of the garden. It is also, the seat of the French Senate and the President of the Senate lives right there.  I have written bits and pieces on it in many other posts in my blog, this time this is a page on the things to see and a bit of history of the garden. Enjoy it for the whole family and keep making it a tradition of Paris.

The Luxembourg garden was created in 1612 at the request of Marie de Médicis to accompany the Luxembourg Palace. It has been the subject of a restoration under the second empire and now belongs to the domaine of the Senate of France. It covers 23 hectares of which 21 are open to the public. With parterres of flowers, and sculptures.  André le Nôtre rearranged the flowerbeds not been able to give the broad perspective desired due to the Monastery of the Carthusians standing there. After the death of Maris de Médicis in 1642, the Luxembourg Palace and garden change hands many times. In 1778, the Count of Provence , brother of king Louis XVI and later king Louis XVIII received the Luxembourg property. To finance the work of restoration he asked to aligned the western part of the garden which included the alley of philosophers frequented by Rousseau in 1741 and the Promenades of breathing or Soupirs   refuge of lovers. Once you are into the rue du Luxembourg ,today Rue Guynemer you are at the westernmost tip of the garden.

At the French revolution the palace is turned into a prison with such residents as Danton, Desmoulins, Fabré, Eglantine, David amongst hundreds others,and the garden is abandoned. The Monastery of the Carthusians is requisitioned, and the wall blocking the view to the Observatory is taken down and the 26 hectares owned by the religious order is taken. The land lost a few years earlier in the West is taken in the South reaching the current boulevard de Montparnasse. In 1795, it is the Directoire that takes over the Palace. The directors settled in the petit Luxembourg except Barras who occupied the former royal apartments in the west wing. After the dissolution of the directoire the building falls into the Senate of the Empire, Napoléon I wish that the garden is intended for the children, and the garden is laid out accordingly with kiosques and playgrounds.

The opening of the boulevard Saint Michel ,then called Sebastopol and the rue de Médici reduce the garden. The intention of Haussmann was to leave the grotto of Medici in its location and put it in a small square. However, this was not possible due to protests it was dismantled stone by stone and rebuilt into a fountain where we can admire it today. The demolition of the convent of the daughters of Calvary (Filles du Calvaire) and the extention of the rue Vaugirard opened in 1845 towards the buildings around the Luxembourg palace and the Petit Luxembourg. 

Under the Nazi occupation the Luxembourg palace was the headquarters of the General Staff of the 3rd Nazi air army . They built two blockhouse in the garden , one in the east and the other in the west, surrounded it with barbed wire, and closed to the public. The garden serves as parking. On August 25, 1944 the French 2nd armored division enters the garden around 17h (5pm) ,the swastika flag is brought down and the Nazis surrendered in the courtyard of the palace. After the liberation the Palace and garden is returned to the Senate of France. The palace of Luxembourg holds the Senate and the Garden is own by the Upper House, the petit Luxembourg house next to it previous residence of the President of the Senate. The Luxembourg museum devoted to major temporary exhibitions of art and you can visit them by the rue Vaugirard. The Orangerie built in 1839 is located in the Allée Delacroix ; it houses the collection of 180 plants including citrus, palms, oleanders and the grenadiers. Some of the big raiders trees are in the garden à la Française open from May to October have as much as 300 years; in the summer the Orangerie serves as temporary exhibitions.

Some of the buildings in the Jardin du Luxembourg are: The Hôtel Vendôme now occupied by the school Mines Paris Tech; the serres or greenhouse in the garden next to it are home to a rich horticultural collection which included more than 400 species of Orchids. The Garden hosts several sports activities from Tennis, Basketball, and martial arts as well. Even the National Championships of Tennis are held here I as well as photographs exhibition, bandstand for concerts, and opera. Activities for Children with a nice playground and   ponys rides., puppet theatre and the main pond where guiding model boats is a tradition of Parisiens parents.

The garden houses about 106 statues these are many do not know if all !! Starting in the northeast corner of the garden on the side of the Palace : The Gauls or the Silence,  by Guillaume Berthelot (1580-1648); Sainte-Suzanne, or Ceres, 1633,  marble from Carrara by François Duquesnoy ; The woman with the apples,  1937, bronze by Jean Terzieff ; Monument to Henry Murger,  1895, bronze by Henry – Theophilus Broth Students died in the Resistance, 1954-1956, bronze by Gaston Watkin; and monument to Théodore de Banville , stone by Jules Roulleau.

Then, after the Medici fountain you have: The Greek actor,1868,bronze by Charles – Arthur Bourgeois; Dancing Faun,by Eugène-Louis Lequesne ;Dispetto,or spite,1872,marble by John Valletta ; Monument to Leconte Lisle, 1897, a winged  muse hugs the bust of the poet, marble by Denys Puech . By passing the basin to the South are: Caius standing Marius on the ruins of Carthage,1857,marble by Nicolas-Victor Vilain ; Calliope, marble by Ferdinand do Pelliccia ; Winner David from Goliath, anonymous marble from antiquity; Vulcan presenting the weapons he has forged, 1781,statue in white marble by Charles-Antoine Bridan, Flora, according to the ancient.

All around the Central terrace, statues of Queens of France and famous women, including in the Clotilde and Bathilde who were chosen by Louis-Philippe; Queens of France and illustrious women. The Queen Mary-Stuart; Monument to Georges Sand, 1904, white marble by François Sicard ; Bocca della Verità 1871,white marble by Jules Blanchard ; Monument to Stendhal, Medallion in bronze by Auguste Rodin ,expansion of a ;model created  by David d’Angers ; Velleda contemplating the home of Eudore, 1844, marble by Hippolyte Maindron ; Monument to Gustave Flaubert, bust in stone by Auguste Clésinger ; The cry, the written word, 2007, three polychrome bronze rings, commemorating the abolition of slavery,by Fabrice Hyber (born in 1961); Stele in tribute to the slaves in the French colonies, inaugurated in 2011 by Nicolas Sarkozy; The merchant of masks, bronze by Zacharie Astruc , featuring the masks of Victor Hugo, Léon Gambetta, Alexandre Dumas son, Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Camille Corot, Hector Berlioz, Jean-Baptiste Faure, Honoré de Balzac, Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly; Then there are the statues of Joan of Albret, Clémence Isaure, Anne-Marie-Louis d‘Orléans, Duchess of Montpensier, Louise of Savoy and Marguerite of Anjou;  Plate in tribute to insurgents in the town, shot against the wall on May 25,1871; Lion’s ‘sculpture in stone by Heuraux. Diane according to the ancient stone.

On the way to the Palace, on the lawn facing the basin: Monument to Scheurer-Kestner (1908), stone, by Jules Dalou , with Justice holding a sword and the balance, and the naked truth, holding a mirror (which has disappeared). In the middle of the Basin you will find, Child support a bowl anonymous sculptor; To the West on the floor you will find: Venus out of the bath, from the antique; Venus to the Dauphin, from antiquity; Blanche of Castile, Queen of France; Juno Queen of heaven according to the antique; Minerva to the Owl anonymous; Then other Queens of France and famous women: Anne of Austria; Anne of Brittany; Marguerite of Provence; Sainte Clotilde; To the North on the floor you have : memory of the seven fighters of the Liberation by Charles Soudant Then, to the South you have : Flora, according to antiquity, another model across the basin;   To the South slightly to the west you have : Monument to Pierre Guillaume Frédéric Le Play, bronze by André-Joseph Allar ; On the South lawn you have the Lion of Nubia and its prey, 1870, bronze of Auguste Caïn ; Tribute to Pierre Mendès France, 1984, sculpture by Pierre Peignot ; The herd of deer listening to the close group in bronze by Arthur the Duke ; Monument to Ferdinand Fabre, 1880, by Laurent Marqueste ; Monument to Charles Baudelaire, 1936, by Felix Pierre Fix Masseau ; Monument to the Countess of Ségur, 1910, by Jean Boucher ; Monument to Louis Ratisbonne, marble by Émile Soldi ; Monument to Jean Antoine Watteau, 1896, stone and bronze by Henri Désiré Gauquié :The poet or tribute to Paul Eluard, 1954, bronze by Ossip Zadkine ; Monument of José Maria de Heredia  bronze by Victor Ségoffin ; Monument to Sainte-Beuve, 1898, bust in stone by Denys Puech.

Then turning to the right towards the North on the first lawn along rue Guynemer you have : Frédéric Chopin monument, in bronze and stone by Paul Dubois ; Archidamas preparing to throw  the disc, 1847, statue stone by Henri Lemaire; Monument to Jules Massenet, 1926, by Raoul Verlet , completed by the sculptor Paul Gasq ; A reduction in bronze of the Statue of the liberty of Auguste Bartholdi, melted then in the garden Monument to Édouard Branly, by Carlo Sarrabezolles ; Going back to the North on the next lawn you see the Monument to Gabriel Vicaire, 1902, stone, by Jean-Antoine ; Monument to Paul Verlaine, 1911, stone by Augustus ; The triumph of Silenus 1898 group in bronze by Jules Dalou ; Winter, marble statue attributed to Michel Anguier ; Monument to Beethoven, inaugurated in 1978, example in bronze of the bust sculpted in 1902 by Antoine Bourdelle;   The Effort,1898,lead and sandstone by Pierre Roche ; Monument to Stefan Zweig, 2003, bronze by Félix Schivo ; Phidias or Sculpture, 1889, by Aimé Millet ; The Messenger, by Gabriel Forestier stone statue; Painting, 1889, statue stone by Jules Franceschi ; On the West façade of the Orangery: Jean-Antoine Houdon, 1888, bust by Ernest-Eugène Hiolle ; Louis David, 1888, bust by Jean-Baptiste Hugues.

On the South façade of the Orangerie: Antoine Gros, 1888, bust by Felon Joseph ; Rough Francis, 1888 bust in stone by Joseph Tournait ; Pierre-Paul Prud’hon 1888, bust in stone by Gustave Debrie ; David Angers, 1888, bust in stone by Léon-Auguste Perrey ; Dominique Ingres, 1888, bust in stone by Pierre Rambaud ; James Pradier, 1888, bust in stone by Louis Desprez ; Eugene Delacroix, 1888, bust in stone by Alfred-Adolphe-Edouard Lepère ; Antoine-Louis Barye, bust in stone by François-Raoul Larche ; Théodore Rousseau, bust in stone by Henri Louis Levasseur ; Aimé Millet 1888, bust in stone by Émile Louis Bogino (died 1937); Between the Museum and the Palace of the Luxembourg: you have the Monument to Eugène Delacroix, 1890,bronze and stone by Jules Dalou . The monument consists of a group connected adorning a fountain.

On the façade West in a niche of the Palace of Luxembourg you have : Psyche under the empire of the mystery, 1889, statue in marble by Hélène Bertaux ; Moving to the North, in the direction of the rue Vaugirard you have a Montesquieu, by Denis Foyatier ; In front of the orangery, toward the rue Vaugirard:  Young Harvester, by Alphonse Dumilatre ; Flora, from the antique; Etienne Pasquier by Denis Foyatier ; The three Graces, by Marthe Baumel-Schwenck ; Fragrance statue by Victor Brecheret , bronze inaugurated in 2010, according to the plaster model exposed at the Salon d’Automne in 1924 Woman looking in a mirror, statue in marble by Ludwig Georges Mátrai ; In front of the greenhouses and their dependencies: Hercules, statue by Auguste Ottin ; Bathsheba, by Paul Moreau Vauthier ; Amphitrite, anonymous sculpture; Eustache Le Sueur,1853, statue in marble by Honoré Jean Aristide Husson.

The details of the statues and busts above is a compilation from the tourist office of Paris, the Senate of France site, and Wikipedia translated as best possible. A monumental garden that I am sure I do not give justice to its vastness and beauty ,but I hope to give you a better idea of it and encourage you to come and visit it. A wonderful place for the entire family.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit to the Jardin du Luxembourg and is a must while in Paris are:

The City of Paris parks on Luxembourg: https://www.paris.fr/equipements/jardin-du-luxembourg-1793

The Paris Tourist office on Luxembourg: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71393/Jardin-du-Luxembourg 

The Senate of France on the statues of Luxembourg: http://www.senat.fr/visite/jardin/statues.html

The Senate of France on practical information for the Jardin du Luxembourg: http://www.senat.fr/visite/jardin/infos_pratiques.html

Ok you have it all, you can even print this post go the Jardin du Luxembourg and see it all as self guided tour! Promise. The garden is huge in importance for Parisiens and by now many visitors as well . Hope you enjoy the tour and do visit when possible.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “Jardin du Luxembourg of Paris!!!”

  1. It’s true, a pretty garden, where the family atmosphere wanted by Napoleon (I didn’t know that) can still be felt. It also reminds me of Joe Dassin’s song in which I can retrace some of my steps.

    Liked by 1 person

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