The Tuileries Garden is a public garden located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. It is the most important and the oldest French-style garden in the capital, which was once that of the Tuileries Palace, a former royal and imperial residence, which has now disappeared. The Tuileries Garden has been classified as a historical monument since 1914, within a site registered and included in the UNESCO World Heritage protection concerning the banks of the Seine. The garden is now part of the national domain of the Louvre and the Tuileries.
Created by Catherine de’ Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564, it was eventually opened to the public in 1667 and became a public park after the French Revolution. The area of the garden is 25.5 hectares, very comparable to that of the Luxembourg Gardens. It is bounded by the Louvre Palace to the southeast, the rue de Rivoli to the northeast, the Place de la Concorde to the northwest and the Seine to the southwest. In the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, it was a place where Parisians celebrated, met, strolled and relaxed. It hosts several events such as the Rendez-vous aux jardins and the International Contemporary Art Fair.
In the center of Paris, this garden has been breathing space in the heart of the capital for almost five centuries. In 1564 when Queen Catherine de Medici, widow of King Henry II, nostalgic for the Florentine palaces of her childhood, had a country residence built with a garden. The land chosen is located outside the walls of Paris, where tile makers have been established since the Middle Ages. Hence the name “Tuileries”.
From 1664, the garden was completely redesigned by André Le Nôtre, gardener to King Louis XIV. The garden is then open to a selected public. Several times modified and partially privatized, notably by Napoleon I and then by his nephew Napoleon III, it has been entirely open to all visitors since 1871. The garden was the playground of kings and princes. The young King Louis XIII hunted quails and crows there. L’Aiglon, the son of Napoleon I, played in its alleys…
In 1871, during the Paris Commune, the Tuileries Palace, symbol of royal and imperial power, was set on fire by rioters, only the garden remains. In 1990, a competition was launched for its renovation. The landscapers Pascal Cribier and Louis Benech are chosen and bring him contemporary innovations.
Since 2005, the Louvre Museum has been responsible for the management and enhancement of the Tuileries Garden. Each year, the gardeners imagine new flowers, in the spring and then in the summer, depending on the cultural program of the museum. Thus, the parterres are always in the colors of the exhibitions or major events of the moment. The Tuileries are adorned with the colors of the Louvre. Each year, the art gardeners of the Domaine national du Louvre and the Tuileries compete in creativity by drawing inspiration from the highlights of the life of the museum.
Since 2014, the Louvre has had a specifically dedicated sub-directorate for gardens. It carries out research projects on the history of the gardens of the Domaine national du Louvre and the Tuileries, its crafts and its collection of outdoor sculptures. Research and work reinforce the history of gardens as a discipline that is now fully part of the establishment’s orientations.
The gardens of the Domaine national du Louvre and the Tuileries are a veritable open-air sculpture museum. The first statues that are still in place arrived during the Regency from 1716, coming from Versailles and Marly, and some date from the end of the 17th century. Since then, in successive waves, sculpture has continued to invest the Tuileries and the Carrousel, as well as the gardens located to the east (Oratory, Raffet and Infante). Apart from the vases in the garden, the rest of the furniture, seats, lampposts, panels, etc., clearly has a heritage character.
The Tuileries are the domain of André Le Nôtre, the creator of the gardens of Versailles. His father and grandfather were already gardeners in the service of the king. Le Nôtre organized the garden into three main sequences. This structure has remained the same over the centuries.
The Big Square – According to the tradition of the garden “à la française”, the part closest to the palace was intended to be admired from the windows. This Grand Carré is embellished with basins and so-called embroidery flowerbeds, the motifs of which are drawn by small boxwood hedges. Today, simplified flowerbeds allow art gardeners on the estate to express their creativity.
The Grand Couvert – After the flowerbeds, the trees of the Grand Couvert offer a shaded walk. Le Nôtre planted eight hardwood groves. Despite their symmetrical layout, each brings a different vibe. The Grand Couvert is crossed by the Grande Allée, a majestic axis visually extended by the Champs-Élysées. Because it was Le Nôtre who planted the Champs-Élysées, then in the middle of the countryside.
The Horseshoe and the terraces – The garden ends with an open space, the Octagon, around the octagonal Grand Bassin, and the “Horseshoe”. This name comes from the shape of the two ramps which give access to the terraces bordering the garden. The one on the Seine side serves as a dike to protect the garden in the event of flooding. To maintain symmetry, the Terrasse des Feuillants responds to it on the rue de Rivoli side.
Jardin du Carrousel
Also known as the Place du Carrousel, this part of the garden used to be enclosed by the two wings of the Louvre and by the Tuileries Palace. In the 18th century it was used as a parade ground for cavalry and other festivities. The central feature is the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, built to celebrate the victories of Napoleon, with bas-relief sculptures of his battles by Jean Joseph Espercieux. It was originally surmounted by the Horses of Saint Mark from Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, which had been captured in 1798 by Napoleon. In 1815, following the Battle of Waterloo and Bourbon restoration, the horses were sent back to Venice and replaced in 1826 by a new group of sculpture, selected by the restored monarch, representing the triumph of peace.
The elevated terrace between the Carrousel and the rest of the garden used to be at the front of the Tuileries Palace. After the Palace was burned in 1870, it was made into a road, which was put underground in 1877. The terrace is decorated by two large vases which used to be in the gardens of Versailles, and two statues by Aristide Maillol; the Monument to Cézanne on the north and the Monument aux morts de Port Vendres on the south.
The Moat of Charles V is a vestige of the original fortifications of the Louvre Palace, which was then at the edge of the city. It was rebuilt vy Charles V of France in the 14th century, Two stairways parallel to the Arc du Triumph du Carrousel lead down into the moat. On the west side of the moat are traces left by the fighting during the unsuccessful siege of Paris by Henry IV of France in 1590 during the French Wars of Religion.
Since 1994 the moat has been decorated with statues from the facade of the old Tuileries Palace and with bas-reliefs made in the 19th century during the Restoration. These were originally intended to replace the Napoleonic bas-reliefs on the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, but they were never put in place.
The Grand Carré
The Grand Carré (Large Square) is the eastern, open part of the Tuilieries garden, close to the Louvre, which still follows the formal plan of the Garden à la française created by André Le Nôtre in the 17th century.
The eastern part of the Grand Carré, surrounding the circular pond, was the private garden of the king under Louis Philippe and Napoleon III, separated from the rest of the Tuileries by a fence. Most of the statues in the Grand Carré were put in place in the 19th century.
The large round pond is surrounded by statues on themes from antiquity, allegory, and ancient mythology. Statues in violent poses alternate with those in serene poses. On the south side, starting from the east entrance of the large round pond. On the north side, starting at the west entrance to the pond.
The Grande Allée and Grand Couvert
The Grand Couvert is the central, tree-covered portion of the garden. It is divided by the Grande Allée, the wide path that runs from the Round pond to the gates of the Place de la Concorde. Most of the trees are relatively recent, with only a small number dating back to the early 19th century or earlier. The Couvert was extensively replanted in the 1990s, with eight hundred trees added since 1997. The wind storm of 1999 caused extensive damage, and brought down a number of the oldest trees.
The two outdoor cafes in the Grand Couvert are named after two famous cafes once located in the garden; the café Very, which had been on the terrasse des Feuillants in the 18th–19th century; and the café Renard, which in the 18th century had been a popular meeting place on the western terrace.
The alleys of the Couvert are decorated with two exedra, low curving walls built to display statues, which were installed during the French Revolution. They were completed in 1799 by Jean Charles Moreau, and are the only surviving elements of a larger proposed garden plan by painter Jacques-Louis David made in 1794. They are now decorated with plaster casts of moldings on mythological themes from the park of Louis XIV at Marly.
The Esplanade des Feuillants
The Terrace and Esplanade des Feuillants are parallel wide pathways that runs alongside the Rue de Rivoli on the north side of the garden. The terrace was originally created in the 17th century by André Le Nôtre for Louis XIV; it then separated the garden from a row of convents that bordered the garden.
The convent was closed during the Revolution and turned into a clubhouse for a revolutionary faction called the Feuillants. The wide esplanade alongside it was originally planted with mulberry trees by King Henry IV of France, then with orange trees after the French Revolution. Now the esplanade is left open, and used for large outdoor events or temporary pavilions. It hosts a assortment of 19th and early 20th century statues and monuments.
The Octagonal Basin and entrance from to the Place de la Concorde
The plan of the garden at the west end, adjoining the Place de la Concorde, is similar to that of Le Notre’s original plan. The central element is the large octagonal basin, popular with lunching Parisian office workers and children with miniature sailboats. Two horseshoe-shaped ramps give access to the terraces overlooking the Place del la Concorde.
The architecture and the ornate grill of the gateway to the garden were crested beginning in 1757 by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the royal architect of Louis XV, and designer of the Place de La Concorde and its fountains, obelisk and surrounding buildings.
The octagonal basin is surrounded by group of statues installed there in the 18th century. They include allegorical works depicting the four seasons, alternating with heroic figures from Ancient Rome, including Julius Caesar, Hannibal, and Agrippina-Plotine. These are copies; the originals are in the Louvre.
The Orangerie, the Jeu de Paume, and West Terrace of the Tuileries
The two western terraces of the garden overlook the Place de la Concorde, and are separated by the formal entrance and central axis of the garden. The terrace by the Seine is close to the old western gateway of Paris, the Porte de la Conference, which was built by Henry III of France in the 16th century, and was in place until 1720. In the 17th century the terrace was occupied by a famous cabaret, la Garenne de Renard. Now it is home to the Musée de l’Orangerie, which was first built in 1852 under Napoleon III by the architect Firmin Bourgeois to shelter citrus trees during the winter. Since 1927 its main attraction has been a series of eight of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series. It also displays the Walter-Guillaume collection of Impressionist painting.
The terrace of the Orangerie displays four works of sculpture by Auguste Rodin: Le Baiser (1881–1898); Eve (1881) and La Grande Ombre (1880) and La Meditation avec bras (1881–1905). It also has a modern work, Grand Commandement blanc (1986) by Alain Kirili. The terrace in front of the Jeu de Paume displays a notable work of modern sculpture, Le Belle Constumé, by 20th century artist Jean Dubuffet.
On the north of the garden, alongside the Rue de Rivoli, is the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume. It was originally a court for the sport of “Jeu de Paume”, a form on indoor tennis. It was built in 1861 under Napoleon III and enlarged in 1878. It became an annex of the Musée du Luxembourg dedicated to contemporary art from outside France. It held a large collection of impressionist art from 1947 until 1986, when these works were transferred to the new Musee d’Orsay. In 1927 it became an annex of the Luxembourg Palace Museum for the display of modern and contemporary art.
Art and Sculpture
From the 18th century the garden was decorated with statues and vases. The park also displays wide variety of garden sculpture dating back to period of Louis XIV. Many of the present classical works are copies, with the originals inside the Louvre. Each regime adds or replaces sculptures, according to the evolution of taste. At the turn of the groves, there are also many sculptures deposited by museums of modern and contemporary art.
You can meet great names in sculpture from the 17th century to the present day, such as Antoine Coysevox, Auguste Rodin, Jean Dubuffet, Giuseppe Penone and Louise Bourgeois. The most famous examples are the water lilies series by Claude Monet within the Musée de l’Orangerie on the terrace by the Place de la Concorde. The Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, on the northwest corner of the terrace closer to the Rue de Rivoli, presents changing exhibits of modern and contemporary art, including photography and other media. The gallery on the upper floor is lit by natural light.
In 1719, four monumental sculptures were installed at the base of the ramps leading up to the Orangerie and the Jeu de Paume. All four are allegorical representations of rivers; Two are late-17th century originals; They represent The Tiber (by Pierre Bourdict (made 1685-1690); The Nile by Lorenzo Ottoni (1687-1692); The other two depict The Seine and the Marine, and The Loire and the Loiret and are copies of 18th century works.
In 1910, for the first time, two statues marked the entry of politics into the garden with the Monument to Jules Ferry by Gustave Michel and the Monument to Waldeck-Rousseau by Laurent Marqueste. It was during this same period that the Monument to storyteller Charles Perrault (1908) by Gabriel Pech was installed, representing the bust of Perrault surrounded by a circle of children. Two arcades remains from the Tuileries Palace, composed of original elements and others sculpted identically, were installed in the garden near the Jeu de Paume museum, and removed in 1993 for restoration; only one was reinstalled in 2011.
The western part of the garden contains a set of contemporary works, installed mainly in 1998-2000 under the direction of Alain Kirili. Among the artists present, we can cite Giuseppe Penone, with the Tree of Vowels; Francois Morellet; Jean Dubuffet, with Le Bel costumed; Tony Cragg; Anne Rochette and her nursery rhyme; Daniel Dezeuze; Roy Lichtenstein, with Hats off II and Galatea; Germaine Richier and herChessboard, large; Eugène Dodeigne and Strength and Tenderness; Alberto Giacometti and his Grande Femme II; Henri Laurens and his Great Musician; Max Ernst and his Microbe seen through a temperament.
A Garden for children
The Tuileries Garden offers many activities as well as games and entertainment for children – and the whole family. Spread throughout the garden, these activities are an old tradition and contribute to the picturesque Parisian. Most of them located on the north side, near the rue de Rivoli.
The round Grand Bassin in the Tuileries Garden welcomes a fleet of small sailing boats of all colors. Equipped with a stick, children can have fun freely around the pool and sail their little sailboat. This activity has existed since 1850. A slide, swings, turnstiles… this play area allows children to have fun.
Intended for children, the brightly colored carousel is located in the shade of the trees. Its decor evokes the magical universe of Perrault’s fairy tales. A series of trampolines welcomes children from 2 years old to exercise in a cool space, lined with palm trees. Nearby, don’t miss the delightful monument in honor of Charles Perrault, with his Puss in Boots.
The Tuileries funfair is a traditional family fair that takes place every year from June to August, in a place steeped in history: the Jardin des Tuileries. During the summer holidays, a traditional funfair is set up in the Tuileries Gardens. Children and adults, tourists and Parisians all enjoy the attractions: bumper cars, ghost trains, shooting gallery, hall of mirrors, 1900s wooden horses merry-go-round. There are also a few skill games such as tin can alley and duck fishing – a firm favourite with youngsters.
Located in the prestigious and central Jardin des Tuileries, this funfair is smaller in size compared to the Foire du Trône, but it still attracts many visitors as the attractions are many and varied, complete with shows and concerts on certain days. In the middle of summer, it allows Parisians and tourists alike to see the garden in a new light, to add to a walk in the countryside the pleasure of adrenaline on the carousels, the mythical Ferris Wheel, or the many games of skill.
The Louvre is the world’s most-visited museum, and a historic landmark in Paris, France. The Louvre Museum is a Parisian art and archeology museum housed in the former royal palace of the Louvre. Opened in 1793, it is one of the largest and richest museums in the world, but also the busiest with nearly 9 million visitors a year. It is the home of some of the best-known works of art, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. Remnants of the Medieval Louvre fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to urban expansion, the fortress eventually lost its defensive function, and in 1546 Francis I converted it into the primary residence of the French Kings. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace.
The Musée du Louvre contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments with more than 60,600 square metres (652,000 sq ft) dedicated to the permanent collection. The Louvre exhibits sculptures, objets d’art, paintings, drawings, and archaeological finds. The Louvre Museum presents very varied collections, with a large part devoted to the art and civilizations of Antiquity: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and RomeLogo indicating tariffs to quote that they; medieval Europe (setting around the ruins of the keep of Philippe-Auguste, on which the Louvre was built) and Napoleonic France are also widely represented.
The Louvre has a long history of artistic and historical conservation, from the Ancien Régime to the present day. Following the departure of Louis XIV for the Palace of Versailles at the end of the 17th century century, part of the royal collections of paintings and antique sculptures are stored there. After having housed several academies for a century, including that of painting and sculpture, as well as various artists housed by the king, the former royal palace was truly transformed during the Revolution into a “Central Museum of the Arts of the Republic”. It opened in 1793, exhibiting around 660 works, mainly from royal collections or confiscated from emigrant nobles or from churches. Subsequently, the collections will continue to be enriched by wartime spoils, acquisitions, sponsorships, legacies, donations, and archaeological discoveries.
Located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, between the right bank of the Seine and the rue de Rivoli, the museum is distinguished by the glass pyramid of its reception hall, erected in 1989 in the Napoleon courtyard and which has become emblematic, while the equestrian statue of Louis XIV constitutes the starting point of the Parisian historical axis. Among his most famous plays are The Mona Lisa, The Venus de Milo, The Crouching Scribe, The Victory of Samothrace, and The Code of Hammurabi.