Guide Tour of the Palais-Royal district, Paris, France

The Palais-Royal district is a high place for tourism and commerce, also for culture with the proximity of the Louvre museum and the Opéra Garnier. Quartier Palais-Royal is dominated by the Palais Royal, and contains the larger part of the busy cosmopolitan Avenue de l’Opera. Discover Palais Royal gardens that are both peaceful and majestic, lively streets full of art galleries and antique stores, bistros and brasseries. The Palais Royal surroundings appear almost to be an open-air museum and are home to an understated and sophisticated intellectual tier of Parisian society.

The Quartier du Palais-Royal is the 3rd administrative district of Paris located in the 1st arrondissement. This area owes its name to the Palais Royal, a gigantic palatial complex surrounded by gardens to the north of the Louvre Palace. The Palais-Royal district is made up of a rectangle, limited to the west by rue Saint-Roch, to the east by rue de Marengo and rue de Croix-des-Petits-Champs, to the north by rue des Petits-Champs, and to the south by the rue de Rivoli. In addition to the sublime garden of the Royal Palace, from which it bears the name, this district extends along rue Saint-Honoré, towards place Vendôme, and via rue Croix des Petits Champs, towards place du Marché Saint Honoré.

The Palais-Royal is a former royal palace, the screened entrance court faces the Place du Palais-Royal, opposite the Louvre. Originally called the Palais-Cardinal, it was built for Cardinal Richelieu from about 1633 to 1639 by the architect Jacques Lemercier. Richelieu bequeathed it to Louis XIII, and Louis XIV gave it to his younger brother, the Duke of Orléans. As the succeeding dukes of Orléans made such extensive alterations over the years, almost nothing remains of Lemercier’s original design.

Given as an appanage to Philippe d’Orléans in 1692, it became the Palais des Orléans. The Regent lives there. Louis-Philippe d’Orléans, who would become King of the French, was born there on October 6, 1773. The future Philippe Égalité carried out a grandiose real estate operation there in 1780 led by the architect Victor Louis, framing the garden with uniform constructions and galleries that were to become for half a century, with their cafes, restaurants, gaming rooms and other entertainment, the fashionable rendezvous of an elegant and often libertine Parisian society.

This district was created during the French Revolution. At that time, it was divided into 4 areas: Saint-Roch church, Saint-Philippe-du-Roule church, Saint-Honoré church and, finally, the church of the Jacobins. First called “section de la Montagne” (revolutionary name) then “section de la Butte-des-Moulins”, it became Palais Royal after a prefectorial order on 10 May 1811. The Palais-Royal was assigned from 1871 to various administrations of the Republic. It now houses the Council of State, the Constitutional Council, the Conflicts Tribunal and the Ministry of Culture.

The Royal Palace district is very popular for its tranquility. The gardens of the Royal Palace are a jewel of refinement and tranquility. The gardens of the Palais Royal, located between the buildings, still of great beauty today, the central Palais-Royal Garden serves as a public park, and the arcade houses shops and contain several restaurants.

The Church of Saint-Roch, the Palais-Royal theater and the shops of the Louvre are located in this district. Place des Victoires, the hotels including J.-H. Mansart designed the surviving facades of almost all of them. The Banque de France is installed in a hotel built in 1635, but very modified by François Mansart. At 45 rue des Petits-Champs is the former Hôtel de Lully. Molière died at 40 rue de Richelieu. Nearby was erected the Molière fountain.

Neighborhood life is organized around rue Coquillère, rue Richelieu and Croix des Petits Champs. Thus the latter lists one of the oldest herbal shops in Paris, the Herboristerie du Palais Royal, where the whole of Paris comes to stock up. For shopping, rue Montorgueil is very close, a large open-air market is held several times a week around the Place du Marché Saint-Honoré.

The Palais-Royal Complex
The Palais-Royal, a monumental complex (palace, garden, galleries, theatre) to the north of the Louvre Palace, is a high place in the history of France and Parisian life. The screened entrance court faces the Place du Palais-Royal, opposite the Louvre. Originally called the Palais-Cardinal, it was built for Cardinal Richelieu from about 1633 to 1639 by the architect Jacques Lemercier. Richelieu bequeathed it to Louis XIII, and Louis XIV gave it to his younger brother, the Duke of Orléans. The latter made it his residence, but also a place in competition with Versailles. As the succeeding dukes of Orléans made such extensive alterations over the years, almost nothing remains of Lemercier’s original design. The history of the Palais Royal also bears witness to the French Revolution. The Royal Palace underwent many restorations to become the building we know today.

The buildings of the Palais-Royal face south to the Place du Palais-Royal and the Louvre across the Rue de Rivoli. The central part of the Palace is occupied by the Conseil-d’État, or State Council. It has three floors, and is topped by a low cupola and a rounded pediment filled with sculpture. Two arched passages under the central building lead to the Courtyard of Honor behind. In the east wing, to the right, are offices of the Ministry of Culture and Communication. The two wings of the building have triangular fronts filled with sculpture, inspired by classical architecture and typical of the Louis XIV style. On the west side of the Council building is Place Colette, and the Salle Richelieu of the Comédie Française. Behind that are the offices of the Constitutional Council. On the left side of the Salle Richelieu is another small square, Place André Malraux.

Council of State
The Conseil has its own courtyard, facing out onto the Place du Palais-Royal and the Rue du Rivoli. Inside is the grand horseshoe stairway of honour, which curves upward along the walls to the landing on the first floor. It is decorated with theatrical effects, including ionic columns, and blind arches giving the illusion of bays. A trompe-l’oeil painting in an archway appears to give a view of a classical statue, above which putti hold wreathes around a bust of Cardinal Richelieu. The stairway was made by Pierre Contant d’Ivry in 1765.

The most lavish room of the Council is the Hall of the Tribunal of Conflicts, a kind of courtroom installed in the former dining room of Duchess of Orleans, built by the architect Contant d’Ivry in 1753. It still preserves much of its original decoration, with pilasters and columns, and decorative medallions of putti representing the four seasons and the four elements. The ceiling has a trompe l’oeil painting from 1852 depicting a balustrade and a view of the sky.

The General Assembly chamber was first a chapel, then, under Price Napoleon, a gallery of paintings. It has been changed more than any of the other rooms in the Council. At one end is a long table, with a seat in the center for the Vice President of the Assembly, who chairs the meetings, and the six presidents of the sections of Council. The decoration of the room is particularly rich and varied, with medallions and cameos and allegorical paintings illustrating the various codes of law and the administrative departments. Below these are four more recent large murals, installed between 1916 and 1926, on the theme of France at Work. They depict agriculture (workers in the fields), commerce (the Port of Marseilles), urban labor (Paris workers maintaining the Plae de la Concorde), and intellectual labor.

Ministry of Culture
The office of the French Minister of Culture is located in the Palais Royale, in an apartment originally built for the Duke and Duchess of Orleans in 1820, and later occupied by King Jerome of Westphalia in the 1820s. The gilded and highly decorated salon of Jerome, the younger brother of Napoleon, features sculpture, torchieres and other decoration originally in the throne room of the Tuileries Palace.

Constitutional Council
The Constitutional Council occupies an apartment of the Palace that was originally built between 1829 and 1831 for the Duke of Chartres, the younger brother of King Louis-Philippe, though he chose to live instead in the Tuileries Palace. After 1859 it was the home of Prince Napoléon Bonaparte the second son of Jerome, King of Westphalia, youngest brother of Napoleon I, and his wife, Marie Clotilde of Savoy. The decor made by Fontaine comes from that period.

The grand stairway has two flights of stairs, each with a landing, while the first floor is surrounded by Ionic columns and topped with caisson vaults. Light comes from skylights in the vaults, reflected by rows of mirrors. A marble bust representing Rome, which originally was in the collection of Cardinal Richelieu, decorates the stairway landing. a modern addition is the chandelier made by Claude Lalanne and installed in 1999.

The meeting room of the council, the dining room of Prince Napoleon and Marie Clotilde, was made after 1860 by the state architect Prosper Chabrol with murals in the style of ancient Pompei. One unusual feature of the apartment is the small, windowless oratory, a small place for prayer, with a statue of the Virgin, and walls covered with red and gold fabric, made for Marie Clotilde next to the bedroom. It was restored to its original appearance in 1980.

Courtyard of Honor
Behind the Council of State, and separated from the gardens by two rows of columns, which once were part of the Gallery of Orleans, is another courtyard, the Courtyard of Honor, which was created in the 18th century on a foundation made by Victor Louis. Three arcades in the center of the Council building mark the passageway to the front side of the building. The facade facing the courtyard has pairs of Ionic columns topped by a balustrade, decorated with four classical statues, each three meters high, representing Mars, Apollo, and allegorical figures of Prudence and Liberality by the sculptor Augustin Pajou, which had been featured at the Paris Salon of 1769. On the other side of the balustrade are later statues of Commerce and Navigation and figures of Science, Agriculture, by Antoine Gerard, made in about 1830.

In 1985-86 the Ministry of Culture sponsored two sculptural works in the courtyard; the first, called “Photo-Souvenir – Les Deux Plateaux”, by Daniel Buren, consists of short columns of various sizes arranged across the courtyard. The idea is to create two virtual platforms, without floors; the columns vary in height because of differences in height of the illusionary platforms; some of the column rows are purely horizontal, aligned to the height of the column bases of the gallery of Orleans, while the smaller columns all rise to the elevation of a lower non-existent platform; their variation in height is caused by the difference of elevation in parts of the courtyard. Each column has vertical bands of black and white.

The second work is composed of two fountains by sculptor Pol Bury, located within the roofless Gallery of Orleans, which separates the Courtyard from the gardens. It consists of two square basins each containing seventeen polished metal spheres of different sizes, with water flowing around them. The polished spheres reflect the architecture of the arcades around them.

A third work, commissioned in 1994 is by the Dutch artist Jan Dibbets, passes through the courtyard of the Palais Royale. It is called “Homage to Arago”, and is a tribute to the French mathematician François Arago, who first conceived the prime meridian of Paris. the north–south line passing through the center of Paris which marked the prime meridian (rather than Greenwich) on French Maps. The work consists of one hundred thirty-five brass small brass plaques with the name “Arago” fixed on the pavement on a line which passes through the Palais Royal, and extends on the same axis to the north and south across Paris.

Town houses
Near the end of the 18th century the architect Victor Louis designed rows of town houses on three sides of the garden, which extend 275 meters on the east and west and about one hundred meters on the north. Each has a gallery and boutiques on the ground floor, topped by an entresol, then residential floors. The entrances are on the streets outside the Palais. Louis artfully merged the facades of the houses facing the garden together, giving each wing the appearance of a single long building. The unified sculptural decoration of the facades features classical pilasters, balustrades and bas-relief sculpture.

At first the town houses were rented, but between 1787 and 1790, as the Revolution began, their owner, the Duke of Chartres, sold sixty-seven houses. Colette occupied the entresol of the house at number 9 rue de Beaujolais in 1927, then moved to the first floor from 1938 until 1954. Her friend, the film-maker and writer Jean Cocteaul lived on the other side, at 36 rue de Montpensier. They regularly had breakfast together at the Le Grand Vefour restaurant in the arcades. The two alleys in the garden are now named after them.

Theater of the Comédie Française
The Comédie-Française is one of the few state theatres in France. Founded in 1680, it is the oldest active theatre company in the world. Established as a French state-controlled entity in 1995, it is the only state theatre in France to have its own permanent troupe of actors. The theatre has also been known as the Théâtre de la République and popularly as “La Maison de Molière” (The House of Molière). It acquired the latter name from the troupe of the best-known playwright associated with the Comédie-Française, Molière. He was considered the patron of French actors.

The company’s primary venue is the Salle Richelieu, which is a part of the Palais-Royal complex and located at 2, Rue de Richelieu on Place André-Malraux in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. The Salle Richelieu, now the principal theater of the Comédie Française, was designed by Victor Louis and completed in 1786. It was inaugurated on 15 May 1790. The theater was extensively remodelled over the years; only the exterior walls and columns of the peristyle of the original theater survive, but the reconstructions have preserved the original plan and style.

The Comédie-Française has had several homes since its inception in 1680 in the Salle Guénégaud. In 1689, it was established in a theatre across from the Café Procope. From 1770 to 1782, the Comédie performed in the theatre in the royal palace of the Tuileries. In 1782, the company moved into the Salle du Faubourg Saint-Germain, designed by architects Marie-Joseph Peyre and Charles De Wailly and located on the site of today’s Odéon. Since 1799, the Comédie-Française has been housed in the Salle Richelieu (architect Victor Louis) at 2, rue de Richelieu.

The site was quite small for such a large theater, 44 by 32 metres, so Louis was compelled to stack the seven levels of the theater directly on top of the vestibule on the ground floor. The auditorium of the theater is in the form of an oval. Four stairways serve the seven levels. Balconies, loges and galleries fill the different levels. Four massive columns frame the stage. The hall is covered by a large cupola supported by pendentives and decorated with frescoes, The interior is lavishly decorated in blue and green ornamented with gold, colours traditionally associated in the 18th century with classical theatres. Louis built the cupola with a metallic framework, which saved the structure when a fire struck the theater in 1900, then rebuilt. The theater today can hold 2,000 spectators.

Théâtre du Palais-Royal
The Théâtre du Palais-Royal is located on the northwest corner of the Palais-Royal, in the Galerie de Montpensier at its intersection with the Galerie de Beaujolais. It has 750 seats. Originally known as the Théâtre des Beaujolais, it was a puppet theatre with a capacity of about 750 that was built in 1784 to the designs of the architect Victor Louis. In 1790 it was taken over by Mademoiselle Montansier and became known as the Théâtre Montansier. She began using it for plays and Italian operas translated into French and the following year hired Louis to enlarge the stage and auditorium, increasing its capacity to 1300.

After Napoleon’s decree on the theatres in 1807 introduced significant constraints on the types of pieces that could be performed, it was used for lighter fare, such as acrobatics, rope dancing, performing dogs, and Neapolitan puppets. In 1812 the theatre was converted into a café with shows. In 1831, under the new regime of King Louis-Philippe, it was rebuilt and reopened as a legitimate theater, staging the plays of Victorien Sardou and Eugene Labiche among others. Concerns about theater fires caused the reconstruction in 1887 of the facade, with elaborate tiers of cast-iron fire escapes and polychrome ceramics. The architect of the facade was Paul Sédille, who also designed the interior of the Printemps department store (1881-89). The theatre is now classified as a French historical monument.

Royal Gardens
The first garden of the Palais was planted by Cardinal Richelieu in 1629, where the Court of Honor is today. In 1633, Richelieu obtained authorisation to extend the garden northeast into the land occupied by the obsolete medieval city walls of Paris. He also received permission to sell forty-five building sites around the garden.

The new garden site was 170 meters by 400 meters, making it the third largest garden in Paris, after the Tuileries Garden and Luxembourg Garden. The new garden featured long alleys shaded by trees, elaborate parterres and flower beds, a fountain in the centre, and a circular water basin at the north end. The master hydraulics engineer Jean-Baptiste Le Tellier designed the fountain, which, like the Louvre Palace, took its water from the La Samaritaine pump on the Seine. The two major alleys of the gardens are named for two of the famous 20th-century residents of the neighbouring buildings, the writers Colette and Jean Cocteau.

The garden was redesigned several times, notably in 1674 by Andre Le Notre, and his nephew Claude Desgots in 1730. In 1817, under Charles X of France, the main water basin was enlarged to twenty-five meters in diameter, and the longitudinal parterres were remade in 1824. In 1992 the landscape gardener Mark Rudkin created new lawns and flower beds, termed “Salons of greenery”, with seasonal flowers enclosed by grills covered with climbing plants. The garden was classified as a French historical monument in 1920, followed by the rest of the Palais-Royal in 1994.

A small cannon was installed in the middle of the bowling green at the north end of the garden in 1786. It fired a shot each day at noon, regulated by an ingenious mechanism that used a magnifying lens pointed at the sun’s noontime position to light the match which fired the gunpowder. Between 1891 and 1911, the official noontime in France was defined by the cannon shot. It was stolen in 1998, but recovered and returned to its place in 2002.

The Palais Royale was famous for its restaurants, particularly following the French Revolution, when chefs of aristocratic families who had fled France opened their own restaurants. One surviving restaurant from this period is Le Grand Véfour, It opened in 1784 as the Café de Chartres. In the 20th century it was a favorite dining spot for Colette and Jean Cocteau, and preserves much of its original decor.

The six-storey buildings that surround the gardens on three sides have galleries on the ground floor containing shops and restaurants The garden galleries were constructed 1781–1784 to the designs of the Victor Louis. On the west side is the Montpensier Gallery, on the north, the Beaujolais Gallery, and to the east, the Valois Gallery. Traversing the south side of the garden are two parallel colonnades, remnants of the former covered Galerie d’Orléans (demolished in 1930). They stand between the court of honour and the garden.

The Galerie de Montpensier is a gallery in the Palais-Royal in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France. The Galerie de Montpensier is one of the galleries with arcades located inside the Palais-Royal. It runs along the western side of the Palais-Royal Garden. It starts at Montpensier Peristyle and ends at Joinville Peristyle. The name of the gallery derives from the proximity of Rue de Montpensier which was named after Antoine Philippe, Duke of Montpensier, the brother of King Louis Philippe I.

The Galerie de Beaujolais is one of the galleries under arcades located inside the Palais-Royal and which runs along the north side of its gardens. It begins at the peristyle of Beaujolais and ends at the peristyle of Valois. Passage du Perron leads to rue de Beaujolais which runs parallel to it, between numbers 7 and 9 of said street.

Galerie de Valois is one of the galleries under arcades located inside the Palais-Royal and which runs along the east side of its gardens. It starts at the peristyle of Valois and ends at the peristyle of Beaujolais. It runs parallel to the rue de Valois, but unlike the other two galleries of the palace, there is no passage allowing the two roads to communicate.

The Galerie du Jardin is one of the galleries under arcades, located inside the Palais-Royal, which runs along the south side of its garden and separates it from the Galerie d’Orléans. It begins at the peristyle of Valois and ends at the peristyle of Montpensier.

Surrounding area
The neighbourhood around the Palais-Royal is also full with beautiful monuments, theatres and different cafés, restaurants and hotels are open to Parisians and tourists alike. This gives the district a reputation as a chic and lively neighbourhood. In addition to its many magnificent monuments, a multitude of pedestrian streets in the historic district. Take a walk in the shaded paths of its elegant gardens. The rich heritage of the Palais-Royal district is definitely breathtaking.

Hôtel de Toulouse, headquarters of Bank of France
The Hôtel de Toulouse is located at 1 rue de La Vrillière, in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. It was built between 1635 and 1640 by François Mansart, for Louis Phélypeaux, seigneur de La Vrillière. Originally, the mansion had a large garden with a formal parterre to the southwest. In 1712, Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, Count of Toulouse (son of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan) acquired the Hôtel de La Vrillière and commissioned Robert de Cotte, Premier Architecte du Roi, to redesign it and bring important transformations to its interior. Confiscated as a bien national (“national property”) during the French Revolution, the Hôtel de Toulouse became the Imprimerie de la République in 1795. An imperial decree signed by Napoleon I on 6 March 1808, authorised the sale of the Hôtel de Toulouse to the Banque de France, which made it its official seat in 1811.

Hôtel Régina
Hôtel Regina is a grand hotel in Paris that opened in 1900. The hotel is a five-star hotel that counts 99 bedrooms. Some rooms have views on the Jardin des Tuileries or the Louvre. It is in the Place des Pyramides, across the Rue de Rivoli from the Jardin des Tuileries and an entrance to the Louvre. In the square in front of it is a gilded statue of Joan of Arc on horseback. Inaugurated in 1900 for the World’s Fair in Paris, the hotel is on the Place des Pyramides, which takes its name from Napoleon’s victory in Egypt in 1798. The hotel’s building dates from the Second Empire. Léonard Tauber and his associate Constant Baverez built it between 1898 and 1900. It was named after Queen Victoria, symbolising the Entente Cordiale between the French and the British.

Hôtel du Louvre
The Hôtel du Louvre is a Parisian luxury hotel in the Second Empire style, with a 5-star category. It is located opposite the Louvre Museum, Place André-Malraux in the 1st arrondissement. It is owned by Constellation Hotels Holdings and operated by the Hyatt chain. Built under the Second Empire, the Hôtel du Louvre has exterior architecture in the Haussmann style: marble, light woodwork, columns, chandelier and imposing staircase, high ceilings, light, glass roof.

Church of Saint-Roch
The Église Saint-Roch is a late Baroque 126 meter-long church in Paris, dedicated to Saint Roch. Located at 284 rue Saint-Honoré, in the 1st arrondissement, it was built between 1653 and 1740. The plan and the initial architectural principles of Saint-Roch are inspired by certain buildings established by the Jesuits, a Latin cross church, with a single nave, confined to communicating chapels and a slightly projecting transept, barrel-vaulted, high windows, dome at the crossroads, facade with two superimposed orders of unequal width crowned with a pediment. The church is aligned along a south-north axis derogating from the rule of west-east orientation, with a baroque facade rebuilt around 1730 to the south and a choir to which several aligned chapels were successively added, including that of the Virgin, at the north. The church is organized as a series of chapels. One of them is dedicated to Saint Susanna in memory of the church which used to stand in its place.

Musée en Herbe
The Musée en Herbe is an art museum for children, located at 23 rue de L’Arbre-Sec in Paris, France. It was formerly in the Jardin d’Acclimatation, Bois de Boulogne, Paris. The museum was established in 1975 by Sylvie Girardet and Claire Merleau-Ponty. It presents a series of art exhibits and workshops for children, based on the works of artists such as Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, and Niki de Saint Phalle.

The Musée en Herbe has presented trail-games on artistic, scientific and civic themes, designed for children. Its pedagogy based on play and humor develops children’s sensitivity and curiosity. Observation, imagination and identification games allow them to discover the works of art and exhibits. A game booklet guides them throughout the course, thus encouraging independent visits to the exhibitions. Alongside the exhibitions, the Musée en Herbe also lets children benefit from its know-how thanks to plastic art workshops. Supervised by a visual artist, budding artists explore a work of art, and use different materials and techniques.

Delamain Bookstore
Founded in the 18th century under the arcades of Le Français by André Cailleau, the Delamain bookshop was moved in 1906 following the fire at the Théâtre. With 25,000 titles in a space of 90 m2, the Delamain bookstore is recognized for the quality of its collection of literature, human sciences, fine arts, practical books, comics and children’s books. It also has a particularly extensive department dedicated to the city of Paris, ranging from essays to photography and including guides. For bibliophiles, a space is reserved for the purchase and sale of ancient and modern books. The bookstore thus offers around 5,000 works ranging from the 18th century to the 20th century.

Over the years, many illustrious personalities from the cultural and literary world have frequented it such as Restif de La Bretonne, Alexandre Dumas, Maupassant, Georges Clemenceau, Roger Martin du Gard, Jean Paulhan, Léon-Paul Fargue and more recently, Jean Cocteau, Colette, Michel Foucault or Louis Aragon. Even today, the Delamain bookstore welcomes many writers, state councilors or “French-Comedians”. A heritage and cultural place, the bookstore organizes readings and meetings with authors throughout the year and is characterized by its high oak bookcases on which new and old books rub shoulders. Seven booksellers are responsible for making the link between past and present by offering advice, ideas for reading and all the news of the book.

Public spaces
There are many cultural infrastructures and prestigious monuments adorn the streets and squares in the Palais-Royal district. The district is also home to chic public art, including not only classical architecture but also impressive contemporary art installations.

Fontaine Molière
The Fontaine Molière is a fountain in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, at the junction of rue Molière and rue de Richelieu. Built in 1844, the fountain was designed by several sculptors, headed by the architect Louis Tullius Joachim Visconti, who also designed the fountain in place Saint-Sulpice. The main bronze sculpture, showing Moliere seated under a portico under an imposing arch, is by Bernard-Gabriel Seurre (1795–1875) and cast by the fonderie Eck et Durand. Under him is an inscription flanked by two marble female sculptures by Jean-Jacques Pradier (1792–1852), ‘Serious Comedy’ and ‘Light Comedy’ – each holds a scroll listing Moliere’s works. Right at the bottom are lion masks, from which the water pours into a semi-circular basin. A commemorative medal for the fountain’s inauguration was designed by François Augustin Caunois in 1844 – an example of it is in the musée Carnavalet.

Fontaines du Théâtre-Français
The two fountains of the Théâtre-Français are erected in the Palais-Royal district of the 1st arrondissement of Paris, on the Place André-Malraux. They embellish the elegant crossroads between Avenue de l’Opéra and Rue de Rivoli. Each of the fountains consists of two circular stone basins surmounted by a tall column which bears the statue of a graceful bronze nymph. The base which supports the upper basin is decorated with four figures of seated children in bronze.

The first fountain located at the exit of the rue de Richelieu, opposite the Comédie-Française, is decorated with the Winged River Nymph, a work by Mathurin Moreau. The four figures of children on the base of the basin are by Charles Gauthier. The second fountain, placed at the entrance to the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré is crowned by the Maritime Nymph made by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, the author of the monumental Torcheres of the main staircase of the Palais Garnier. The four figures of seated children on the lower base of the basin are the work of Louis-Adolphe Eude.

Covered passages
There are many covered passages, galleries and byways around the Royal Palace. The covered passages mostly illuminated by the beautiful stained glass. These passages are characterized by their boutiques and restaurants and offer a parenthesis with their particular atmosphere, calm and dynamic at the same time.

The Galerie Véro-Dodat is one of the covered passages of Paris. It is located in the 1st arrondissement, connecting the Rue de Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Rue de Croix-des-Petits-Champs. It was built in 1826. The Galerie is neoclassical in style, with marble columns, gold trim, frescoes, and a black and white tiled floor. The passage is arranged to give an illusion of depth, the diagonal grid of black and white tiles, the low height of the ceiling decorated with paintings of landscapes where it is not glass, for shops on the alignment of a strict horizontal plane. The entries in the gallery are ionic arcades closed by gates. Entries are crowned with a balcony. The façade of the gallery on the Rue Bouloi is decorated with two statues in niches representing Hermes with his winged helmet and a Caduceus hand, god of merchants, and Hercules dressed in the skin of Nemean lion.

Equestrian statue of Joan of Arc
Jeanne d’Arc is an 1874 French gilded bronze equestrian sculpture of Joan of Arc by Emmanuel Frémiet. Of symbolises the recapture, Joan of Arc, bareheaded and wearing armor, rides a mighty caparisoned horse and brandishes her standard with her right hand. The outdoor statue is prominently displayed in the Place des Pyramides in Paris. The original statue was commissioned by the French government after the defeat of the country in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. The statue was inaugurated in 1874. The pedestal was designed by the architect Paul Abadie. The monument was classified as a historic monument on March 31, 1992.

Louis XIV Victory Monument
The Louis XIV Victory Monument was an elaborate trophy memorial celebrating the military and domestic successes of the early decades of Louis XIV’s personal rule, primarily those during the Franco-Dutch War of 1672-1678, on the Place des Victoires (Victories’ Square) in central Paris. It was designed and sculpted by Martin Desjardins between 1682 and 1686 on a commission by François d’Aubusson, Duke of La Feuillade. The monument’s centerpiece, a colossal statue of Louis XIV crowned by an allegory of victory, was destroyed in 1792 during the French Revolution. Significant other parts of the monument have been preserved and are now mostly kept at the Louvre. Together with the two triumphal arches, the Porte Saint-Denis (1672) and Porte Saint-Martin (1674), and echoing the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles (decorated 1680-1684), the Victory Monument marked the high point of public exaltation of Louis XIV’s military glory and European dominance in the urban landscape of Paris.

Les Deux Plateaux
Les Deux Plateaux is an art installation created by the French artist Daniel Buren in 1985–1986. It is located in the inner courtyard (Cour d’Honneur) of the Palais Royal in Paris, France. Buren’s work takes the form of a conceptual grid imposed on the courtyard, whose intersections are marked by candy-striped black-and-white columns of different heights poking up from the courtyard’s floor like sticks of seaside rock. The work replaced the courtyard’s former parking lot and was designed to conceal ventilation shafts for an underground extension of the culture ministry’s premises. Some of the columns extend below courtyard level and are surrounded by pools of water into which passersby toss coins.

Kiosque des Noctambules
Le Kiosque des noctambules is a contemporary artwork by Frenchvisual artist Jean -Michel Othoniel located in the historic center of Paris, France. Installed in 2000 on Place Colette, it is a metro entrance to the Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre station, made up of a set of aluminum and Murano glass spheres. The work takes the form of an installation having the function of a subway entrance. Meaning continuity, grafted onto an aluminum structure, 800 giant Murano glass beads make up this work in the Art Nouveau metro entrances. Outside, an aluminum metal mesh formed of rings linked to each other surrounds the staircase on three sides (except the one that allows you to take it); it is set with a few rings of colored glass. Six columns formed from aluminum spheres (three on each side of the mouth) support two cupolas.

These cupolas are made up of a set of giant Murano glass beads (made by the Salviati glassworks) which seem strung together one after the other to form two dome-shaped structures. The dome which overhangs the entrance to the staircase is made of pearls in warm tones (yellow, white and red) and represents the day; the other has cold tones (blue, white, yellow and purple) and appears at night. Each of the cupolas is surmounted by a small sculpture of a glass character. The back of the work features a public bench, also constructed of aluminium. The interior part of the work, located shortly after the end of the staircase, contains two showcases embedded in the subway wall. They contain colored beads; one of the windows has warm tones, the other cold tones, like the two domes outside. In addition, the tiling of the metro is painted, on this entrance, in a golden color; it regains its classic white color a little further on.

La Pensée et l’Âme huicholes
The Huicholes Thought and Soul is a work byMexican shaman Santos de la Torre Santiago. The work is installed in the Palais-Royal – Musée du Louvre station of the Paris metro, at the entrance to the Carrousel du Louvre. The work consists of a set of 80 square panels of 30 cm sides, assembled to form a mosaic 2m long by 3m high (10 panels wide by 8 panels high). Each of these panels is covered with colored beads 2 mm in diameter, for a total of two million beads. The patterns they draw take up mythological themes of the Huichols of Santa Catarina Cuexcomatitlán, in Jalisco; the 30 lower panels represent the underworld, the 20 central panels the earth, the 30 upper panels the sky.