The Luxembourg Gardens

The Jardin du Luxembourg is the oldest garden in Paris. It’s also one of the most entertaining, with a wide variety of attractions for young and old alike. Spending a moment in the Jardin du Luxembourg is always a charming and pleasant experience, whether in spring, summer or autumn, and leaves a memory filled with relaxation and pleasure.

The history of the Luxembourg Gardens

Engraving of the Palais du Luxembourg in the 17th century

Marie de Médicis, wife of Henry IV and mother of Louis XIII, ordered the creation of the Luxembourg Gardens in 1612. The garden, built in Florentine style, was an integral part of the ensemble surrounding the Palais du Luxembourg, the royal family’s residence for three decades.

During the French Revolution, the Luxembourg palace was transformed into a prison, where the likes of Danton and Desmoulins were incarcerated. It was subsequently given to the Directoire, and then to the Senate when Napoleon Bonaparte came to power.

The initially larger garden was amputated by the opening of the Boulevard Saint Michel as part of the Paris redevelopment project led by Baron Haussmann.

What to do in Luxembourg ?

The Luxembourg Gardens are home to a number of attractions:

  • The Musée du Luxembourg , which was the first French museum open to the public in 1750. The museum is dedicated to presenting a wide range of educational and cultural exhibits.
  • And finally, the garden, with its many attractions.

The Luxembourg Gardens cover an area of 22 hectares, including a formal garden, an English garden and a geometric forest.

The English garden is particularly charming
The garden is an excellent place to relax and read. The garden offers the public 4500 seats

The tradition of seating in the Luxembourg Gardens dates back to the 19th century. The popularity of Paris gardens and parks prompted the state to make chairs available to the public at a cost of 10 centimes. Today, as in all parks, the use of chairs and armchairs is free of charge. In 1990, a French company, then in charge of producing the chairs, diversified the collection and sold all over the world.

The garden is a popular spot for joggers
To book a tennis lesson, call 0143257918 during the day. Popular at weekends.
The kiosk is very busy at weekends
We saw Matthieu Chedid at the gazebo in 2020

The musical program at the garden bandstand is very active at weekends, with a wide variety of styles: classical, jazz, pop, modern and chanson.

Several catering areas are available
Sailboats for hire for children
Several play areas are available
The garden is home to France’s largest puppet theater

Hundreds of puppets made in the theater’s workshops make up the troupe under the direction of Francis-Claude Desarthis, who succeeded his father in refounding the theater in 1933.

The theater is open Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and school vacations. Children will hear the bell chime to warn them of an imminent show.

Francis-Claude Desarthis

In short, the Jardin du Luxembourg is a real gem, offering a variety of styles. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, it offers a diversity of activities to suit all tastes. With a rich history dating back to the 17th century, this charming site continues to enchant visitors with its timeless beauty and serene atmosphere, bearing witness to the cultural heritage of Paris.

Jardin du Luxembourg
Open daily at variable times depending on the season

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