Jul 21, 2009

I grabbed my book and pull up a chair around the delightful fountain. I had every intention of getting through some pages of my book however I think I only read 1 page. Being distracted by people coming and going. Kids and families are playing. Couples are laughing. People just passing by. Before I knew it I had been sitting there for over 2 hours. The garden is beautiful.

Jardin des Tuileries is Paris central garden. It connects the Louvre with the Place de la Concorde and forms a part of the large central axis between the Louvre and La Défense.

In the early 16th century the area was a clay quarry for tiles (tuilerie in French, hence the name). After the death of her husband Henri II in 1559, Catherine de Médicis had a Palace built at the tuileries, the Palais de Tuileries. The palace featured a large garden in Italian style, reminding her of her native Tuscany.

Between 1660 and 1664 the garden was redesigned in French formal style by André Le Nôtre, the celebrated gardener of King Louis XIV, the Sun King. Le Nôtre built a terrace along the riverbank and opened up a central axis which he extended three years later with the creation of the Champs-Elysées.The Jardin des Tuileries was one of the first parks to open to the public and it quickly became a place to see and be seen. Even in the 18th century the park featured amenities such as cafes, kiosks, deck chairs and public toilets.

It also features several fountains, two large basins, numerous sculptures and two museums, the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume and the Musée de l'Orangerie, which displays Claude Monet's large water lily paintings . Those two buildings are the only remains of the original Palais de Tuileries.

Station on Paris metro: Tuileries