The Luxembourg Gardens are among the most beautiful in Europe. Every day, many tourists choose to walk through them to rest a bit while they visit the French capital. In them it is easy to find, in addition to statues and other garden elements, metal chairs and benches to relax and enjoy a bucolic landscape.
The history of the Luxembourg gardens
The construction of the Luxembourg Gardens and the homonymous palace were carried out at the beginning of the 17th century by order of Queen María de Médicis. The intention and style of the complex sought to evoke the already famous Boboli Garden from his hometown, Florence.
The gardens began with a small plot in front of the palace and with a small fountain. Years later, the area occupied by the gardens was expanded until reaching its maximum extension in 1792. From then on, the different owners of the gardens of Luxemburg included more elements to improve them. However, with the passage of time they ended up abandoned.
During the French Revolution, the Luxembourg Palace was used as a prison and many years later, during World War II, it was used as the headquarters of the German army, who built a bunker in the same garden.
Already in the 19th century the famous central pond of the gardens was made. It was Baron Haussman who ordered it as part of his initiative to renovate the city of Paris. In exchange for this element, a good part of the gardens were changed by wide boulevards for the walk and recreation of the Parisians.
Currently, the Luxembourg Gardens, in neoclassical style, have more than 20 hectares. They offer their visitors the opportunity to stroll through them or to do other activities such as renting sailboats on the pond.
Touring the Luxembourg Gardens
During the tour, We will not only enjoy a garden with a wide variety of environments. Here we will find an area of orchards, typical of French gardens, as well as a small forest with species of tall trees and leafy areas full of bushes.
In addition, in the gardens there are kiosks where you can stop to rest and have a drink. And even there is an area dedicated to beekeeping and another large space dedicated to greenhouses.
While, the little ones can enjoy themselves on a 19th century merry-go-round or in the puppet theater. They can also ride a donkey or a pony and drive their own boat on the pond.
In the gardens, on the other hand, you can see a collection of more than 20 statues, all of them dedicated to the queens of France. There are also sculptures of other famous people and animals. Among them, the sculptural group that tells the story of Polyphemus, Acis and Galatea stands out.
Nor should you miss the opportunity to be photographed at the Maria de’ Medici fountain.. This is the only original element of the gardens, it is completely surrounded by columns and has its own pond.
Although the most striking feature is its large central pond, don’t miss its rose garden and orchid collection, offering a collection of 10,000 flowers. As if that were not enough, the Luxembourg garden also offers tennis courts and spaces dedicated to other games such as chess and petanque.
Useful information to enjoy the visit
To get to the Luxembourg gardens, you can use metro line 12 to Notre-Dame-des-Champs station. Another possibility is the RER on its line B.
The entry is completely free and its closing and opening hours depend on the season of the year in which we find ourselves. During the winter it opens from 7.30am to 5pm, however in the summer the gardens may stay open until 9.30pm.
It is important to know that during the visit there is the possibility of seeing the puppet theater that takes place only on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from two in the afternoon. Besides, sometimes it is possible to enjoy traveling exhibitions of contemporary photography or sculpture, another of the initiatives to maintain the gardens.