Saturday, 1 June 2013

Louvres and the Tuileries Gardens

Last time we reached the Tuileries Garden. It was created in 1564 by queen Catherine de Medicis. At that time it surrounded the Tuileries Palace that was destroyed by the Paris Commune in 1871 (just like the Vendôme Column from my last post). Today, the park is open to the public. It starts as you rememeber on the Place de la Concorde, with its Obelisk in the middle.

When you turn a bit left you will see the Eiffel Tower. Of course you may expect a separate story about it.

The garden is embellished by many flowers and trees in blossom.

In the middle you will see a fountain. On sunny and windy days kids play here with little sailing boats.

On the other side of the park you will see a majestous bulding. This amazing palace dates back to late 12th century.

The entry is guarded by Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. You will not be surprised to hear that it was built to commemorate the military victories of Napoleon. Modesty was for sure not the biggest virtue of the Empereur.

What I liked most was of course the quadriga on the top. Very similar to the one that I have shown you on the Opera House in Warsaw.

Finally, we arrive to the palace. 

You guessed it right - it is the Palace of Louvre, housing one of the world's largest museums, the Louvre Museum.

In the courtyard you cannot miss two things. The first one is the pyramide that hides the main entrance. It is made of glass but surprisingly fits quite well into the surrounding buildings.

The second one is the statue of le Roi-Soleil, king Louis 14th.

The crowd in the museum was immense so I decided to admire it this time only from the outside.

On the left from the Louvre you will step on the Pont des Arts that links Louvre with the Institute of France.

On the side of the bridge many couples attach padlocks with their names, throwing the key to the river, hoping thus to guarantee themselves eternal love.

So where is Wally? I mean where is Rickie? Here I come.

Institut the France is an organisation that groups French academic institutions, the most famous of which is the Académie française.

I then had a little walk on the right of Louvre, to see the Saint-Jacques Tower. I must tell you it is really a strange feeling to see out of a sudden suchs a high tower in the middle of a park. In fact, it used to be the belfry of a church that was part of chemins de Compostelle, the pilgrimage routes in France that led towards Santiago in the northwest of Spain. It is therefore part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church was demolished during the French Revolution.

Our last destination in the surroundings of Louvre is the Palais-Royal. It used to be the personal residence of Cardinal Richelieu. Later on some of the French kings lived there. Today it houses the Conseil d'État, the Constitutional Council, and the Ministry of Culture.

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