Located between the Place de la Concorde and the Palais du Louvre, Le Jardin des Tuileries is one of the most popular, lively and beautiful public gardens in Paris.
Established by Catherine de Medici in 1564, Le Jardin des Tuileries was a playground and a hunting ground for the royals and the aristocracy. Over the ensuing century it was home to stables, a riding school and even a zoo.
Le Jardin des Tuileries became a public park after the French Revolution and by the end of the 19th century it offered all kinds of entertainment, with acrobats, puppet theatres, donkey rides and small boats sailing on its ponds.
Two notable historic buildings stand in Le Jardin des Tuileries. Designed by architects Firmin Bourgeois and Ludovico Visconti and completed in 1852, L’Orangerie was commissioned by Napoleon III as a greenhouse. It is now a museum of art and its specially designed oval gallery showcases Monet’ s best known work, Les Nymphéas.
The twin of L’Orangerie, Le Jeu de Paume, was constructed in 1861 to house Napoleon’s tennis courts. During World War two it was used to store works of art expropriated from Jewish families. From 1947 to 1986, when they were transferred to the Musée D’Orsay, it was home to a large collection of Impressionist paintings.
Le Jardin des Tuileries is yet another great Paris escape. Even though Parisians come in their thousands to enjoy its ponds, its fountains, its flowers, its trees, its cafes and restaurants, its entertainment and its art installations, there is always a tranquil spot to be found somewhere.