Saturday, February 15, 2014

Jardin du Luxembourg

Métro: Notre Dame Des Champs (line 12), Odéon ( Line 4 or 10)
RER B: Sénat, Luxembourg
Address: Jardin du Luxembourg, 75006 Paris
Access: Rue d'Assas, Rue Guynemer, Rue de Vaugirard , Rue Auguste Comte or Bd St Michel
Hours:  Click Here
Cost: Free

I have the chance of working a street away from this garden so I have seen its many faces. Yet after 5 months of walking its alleys daily,  I am still discovering this garden. Everyday is different: the light, the weather, the landscape; everything brings life to this place. It is the Parisians very own backyard. I love seeing locals reading their journals or their books on the now famous green metal chairs. They stay indifferent to the hoards of tourists who cannot stop taking pictures of the ducks. Well, there is also the fitness addicts: joggers, tennis players or even Tai chi groups.

I have also crossed the path of a famous actress, a french singer even a movie set. Yep this is the place where no matter who you are, local or tourist, famous or anonymous, you still find yourself in love with this manicured paradise. Inside its gates, there is also a playground for kids, a puppet theater and during vacation or summer months: poney rides and little cars rentals. But most of the kids enjoy feeding the ducks and navigating their boats on the main fountain.

We owe this little beauty to Marie of Medecis. So why the name Luxembourg? I thought you'd never asked!

In the beginning of the 17th century, this area was mostly made up of convents, schools and a few hôtels particulier. One of which was the property of the Duke of Piney-Luxembourg. As a young boy, King Louis XIII spent time hunting. Later Marie de Medecis left the grand palace of the Louvre (that's another story) to establish herself there. But for a queen the place is not quite to her standard so ordered some remodeling and expansions including a gorgeous orchard and garden, and what we know now as the Senate.

The garden is filled with beautiful statues and sculptures totaling over a hundred pieces. Best free open air museum! There is even a small replica of the Statue of Liberty. My favorite are the Fontaine Médécis and the Hommage à Eugène Delacroix which are massive and magnificent at the same time.

Finally, to spend a nice afternoon among friends: a game of pétanque or delecting in a nice nutella crêpe with the girlfriends.

Or you can take a class at the Rucher-école and learn all about bees :
But no matter what, les Jardins du Luxembourg is a must-see stop to relax. I often think about what it would be like to have this place all for myself but feeling spoiled and lucky to be able to enjoy it daily. Maybe I'll see you there!?

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