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Jardins du Luxembourg, Garden of Luxembourg, is a garden built in 1612, by Queen Marie de’ Medici. After her husband, King Henry IV, was murdered, she decided to move out of the Louvre and buy the park owned by the duke of Luxembourg. She then moved to what is now the Jardins du Luxembourg. She build this place in order to remind herself of her childhood. Between 1615 and 1627 the Palais du Luxembourg, Luxembourg Palace, was built on the north side of the Jardin du Luxembourg. The queen ordered the architect, Salomon de Brosse, to build the palace as an inspiration of the Pitti Palace.
In fact, in 1625, the queen didn’t get to enjoy her new palace and gardens since she was banished by Richelieu before her palace was complete. In 1794, the palace served as a prison during the French Revolution. It was the headquarters of the Luftwaffe during World War II, and is currently housing the French Senate.The gardens have a total of 55.6 acres, 224,500 square miles of land. The gardens are split in two, the French and the English garden. Between the two lies a geometric forest and large octagonal pond, known as the Grand Bassin, where children can rent small boats. Children can also enjoy puppet theaters, pony rides, a merry-go-round and a large playground. Adults can play chess, tennis, and bridge or remote control boats. There is also an orchard with various types of apples that have been forgotten, an apiary for you to learn about beekeeping, and greenhouses with a collection of orchids and a rose garden. The garden has 106 statues spread throughout the park.
The most famous fountain is the Fontaine Médicis. It was designed in the early seventeenth century. It has a sculpture group in the center which shows Polyphemus, in his Greek mythological figure, observing the lovers Acis and Galatea. The Fountaine Delacroix located on the west side of the palace was created to honor the French Painter, Eugène Delacroix. “…consists of a rectangular basin with six jets. At the center is a tall pedestal with a bust of the painter.” () The Fontaine de l’Observatoire is located in an extension known as the Jardins de l’Observatoire. It was built in 1873 by Davioud, Carpaux, and Frémiet. The fountain has a globe with four women supporting it, each of the women represent a continent.
The least famous fountain is the Fontaine de Léda. It was built in 1806, behind the Fontaine Médicis. There shows a mythical scene with Leda and Zeus disguised as a swan. The park has almost 70 statues around the park. Twenty of the statues are French Queens, including Marie de’ Medici. “Many of the statues in the Jardin du Luxembourg honor famous (mostly French) people, from politicians and scientists over sculptors and painters to poets and composers…” (A View On Cities)The Jardins du Luxembourg is open daily, each day of the year. In the summer, it is open from 7am to one hour before the sunset. In the winter, it is open from 8am to one hour before the sunset. The entrance is completely free. The garden in located between the borders of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter. Boulevard Saint-Michel, lle-de-France, Paris, France, 75006. 6e arrondissement. Metro line 4 or 10 to Odéon station or line B to Luxembourg station.
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