After a full day of eating, shopping and site-seeing in Paris it is lovely to come across a beautiful escape in the middle of the city. The Jardin du Luxembourg is spread across 23 acres in the 6th arrondissement, adjacent to the Luxembourg Palace.
The gardens are well known for their beautiful boulevards, abundant flower beds and the picturesque Medici Fountain. It is one of our favourite Parisian gardens and a lovely spot to wander and rest for a while before venturing back in to the hustle and bustle of the city.
The garden came to life in 1612, created by Marie de Medici who was the widow of King Henry IV, next to her newly constructed residence, Luxembourg Palace. The gardens were originally 8 hectares in size and formal in style with 2000 elm trees planted in 1612.
Marie employed a team of gardeners to build her a garden that was styled similar to the green spaces she had enjoyed in her childhood in Florence.
In 1630 she purchased additional land to expand the gardens to 30 hectares and selected Jacques Boyceau de la Barauderie, the royal intendant from the early gardens of Versailles and the Tuileries, to design the new garden addition.
Over the subsequent centuries the gardens went through a series of changes with some French Monarchs neglecting the garden (the Comte de Provence sold off part of it for a real estate development in 1780!). The gardens continued to evolve and change over the next 200 hundred years to the space that we know today.
The gardens border Saint Germain des Pres and the Latin Quarter, both of which are excellent neighbourhoods in Paris for shopping, eating, drinking, wandering and exploring.
The gardens include over 100 statues and fountains. There is an apiary to learn about bee-keeping, a rose garden, and a greenhouse with magnificent orchids. You can play cheese, bridge and tennis in the gardens and even enjoy remote sailing boats.
Out tip is to pick up some French baguettes, pastries and cheese and head to the gardens for an afternoon to enjoy a picnic and soak up the atmosphere.
For more information and opening times visit Paris Info.