Located in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, the Senate Garden, founded by Marie de Médicis, is emblematic for its architectural and botanical wealth.
Just a 10-minute walk from the Hôtel des Saints Pères, the Jardin du Luxembourg, nicknamed "Luco" by Parisians, is full of famous buildings such as the Senate and the Musée du Luxembourg, one of the main exhibition centres in Paris.
History of the Garden
After the assassination of her husband Henri IV, Queen Marie de Médicis wanted to escape from the Louvre at all costs in search of more peace and quiet. Her dearest wish was to build a palace with gardens, inspired by those of Boboli, which reminded her of her Italian origins. In 1612 she bought the Hôtel de François de Luxembourg, which gave the garden its name. At the time, the garden was small but work was soon undertaken to enlarge it. It was really under Baron Haussmann that the planned developments gave the garden its current appearance. Today, the park covers 25 hectares. The Jardin du Luxembourg is the only park that combines different styles: on the one hand the French garden, on the other the English garden. Outside, on the gates of the garden, photographs on a particular theme are regularly hung, to the delight of passers-by.
An architectural and botanical heritage
There are several buildings in the garden. The Palais du Luxembourg, to name the main one, is the seat of the Senate. The Musée du Luxembourg was the first museum of contemporary art to be created at the instigation of the Senate. Since 2010, the museum has been managed by the Réunion des Musées Nationaux to promote exhibitions on "The Renaissance in Europe", "Art and Power" and "The Palace, the Garden and the Museum". Also within the park is the Orangery, which houses around 180 plants with its famous 200 year old bigaradiers. Throughout the park, 106 statues are installed, including a small Statue of Liberty, statues of the Queens of France, as well as those representing Beethoven, Chopin, Baudelaire. The Fontaine de Médicis is one of the major decorations of the Jardin du Luxembourg. Named the "Grotto of Luxembourg" by its sponsor, Marie de Médicis, the fountain has now taken her name. Finally, the Pavillon Davioud pays tribute to botany by offering horticultural courses. Whether you come from theHôtel des Saints Pères, alone, as a couple or with your family, there is something for everyone thanks to the many activities on offer.