At first glance the
Luxembourg appears to be
eminently walkable and
manageable but there are so
many distractions of the "Oh
look down there" type that a
stroll can soon turn into an
The Palace was built on the orders of Catherine de Medicis, to remind her of her home in
Florence. It was completed in 1630 and has had a chequered history ever since. A prison during
the revolution { ironically housing Robespierre and David at one stage} and a base for the
Luftwaffe in WW 11, the Palace is now home to the French Senate. The palace you see above is
the rear of the building and opens onto a huge octagonal pond. The opposite side of the palace is
a private garden for use of the Senate members.
We once stayed at a traditional
Paris hotel where pictures of
Napoleon 111 and Eugenie
decorated the walls.
The Proprietress was glacial and
distant until she discovered we
both had dogs named Brandy and
after that nothing was too good for
Strange are the ways of Paris

This is a garden of nooks and crannies
and statues and follies and hidden
delights. A garden where Theophile
Gautier walked his pet lobster,
Baudelaire and de Nerval strolled,
Verlaine and Andre Gide took the air,
Cosette met Marius beneath the
statue of the gladiator and a midinette
spends every lunch hour removing
wire and string with the skill of a
surgeon from the legs of pigeons she
The Fontaine de Medicis was built in 1624. The classical figures of Acis
and Galata menaced by Polyphemus were added at a later date.
Who could
resist the lure
of the shady
paths to left
and right and
the urge to
interpret the
meaning of
the strange

And on the left there ! Surely
that's a statue of Delacroix
sculpted in 1890 by Dalou.
Yes. there's no doubt about it
and there are the unmistakable
allegorical figures of Art, Time
and Glory at his feet.
And a droite, is surely Pan,
nymph of woods and glades
and shameless to the last.
There is far more to the Luxembourg than the above sampler but it is an introduction which
may tempt a visit --- so many visitors to Paris neglect the Luxembourg gardens but it is
essentially Parisian. I can't resist a final look at the Palace before leaving the gardens.
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