Luxembourg gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg)
The history of Luxembourg gardens
One of the most interesting places to wander in Paris is the gardens of Luxembourg ( Jardin du Luxembourg ). It is a beautiful park located in a central part of the city, in the 6th arrondissement, very close to the Sorbonne and the Pantheon. It occupies an area of about 25 hectares , with tall trees and countless flowers, especially during spring and summer.
On the eastern side of the gardens, it is located the palace of Luxembourg (Palais du Luxembourg) which houses the French Senate. It used to be the palace of the Duke of Luxembourg, from which the garden took its name.
Some spicy details
The palace was built by Marie of Medici in 1610. Marie was born in Florence in 1575 and she was the daughter of François I of Medici, the great Duke of Tuscany. She came in France to mary King Henry the 4th.
The marriage was based on political and economic motives. But Henry, unable to hide his disappointment, did not even go to welcome her when she arrived in Marseille (its arrival is depicted in a painting of Rubens in the Louvre museum) and the relationship between Henry and Mary was complicated from the beginning 🤐.
After the death of Henry, Maria left the Louvre Palace, (Louvre before being transformed into a museum was a palace, built by Henry the 4th), which she never liked and made her own palace by buying the duke’s Luxembourg palace.
The fountain of Medici 💧
In 1630, Maria of Medici orders a Florentine engineer to build a fountain. The fountain is located on the eastern side of the garden to the left of the palace and is called the Medici fountain (Fontaine Médicis). The fountain represents Cyclop Polyphemus while he discovers Galateia with Akis.
Galatea was the daughter of Nireas Nereidas. Cyclops saw her and fell in love with her. However, according to a tradition, Galateia was in love with another young man, Akis, who was the son of the god Pana and a Nymph of the water.
One day Galatea rested on the beach, touching her lover’s chest. But for their bad luck, Polyphemus saw them. And because Polyphimus could not stand to rejoice Galateia Akis, he took a rock, threw him and killed Akis. Galateia was deeply saddened at the unjust loss of Akis and transformed him into a river.
The fountain has been built in such a way as to create an illusion. Water in the pool seems to be tilted relative to the ground. Surprisingly, ophthalmopathy is not very successful, few realize it, not because there is a mistake in the idea of the manufacturer but in the simple and paradoxical reason that the human brain can not accept that the water in the pool is getting tilted.
With the Paris Pass, you have free access to all of Paris’s major museums and attractions.
The list includes more than 60 museums, and one bus tour in Paris. Along with the Paris Pass you will receive a card Paris Visite for your transportation to Paris, maps and a travel guide.