GARDENS OF FRANCE (6) – JARDIN des TUILERIES

The Tuileries Palace (Palais des Tuileries) was a royal and imperial palace in Paris which stood on the right bank of the River Seine. It was the usual Parisian residence of most French monarchs, from Henry IV to Napoleon lll, until it was burned by the Paris Commune in 1871. The gardens became a public park and meeting place for Parisians after the French Revolution.

The Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries) is surrounded by the Louvre (to the east), the Seine (to the south), the Place de la Concorde (to the west) and the Rue de Rivoli (to the north).

The Tuileries Gardens get their name from the tile factories which previously stood on the site where Queen Catherine de Medici built the Palais des Tuileries in 1564. The gardens, which separate the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, are a cultural walking place for Parisians and tourists where Maillol statues stand alongside those of Rodin or Giacometti.

The  Garden covers about 63 acres (25 hectares) and still closely follows a design laid out by the royal landscape architect André Le Nôtre in 1664. His spacious formal garden plan drew out the perspective from the reflecting pools one to the other in an unbroken vista along a central axis from the west façade, which has been extended as the Axe historique (historical axis or triumphal way); a nearly straight path leading from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe to La Défense west of Paris.

The hallmarks of a Le Nôtre   garden such as Tuileries, Versailles or Luxembourg gardens are  vistas created using mathematical training to deduce the contours of the land in relation to perspective and to follow the architectural lines of a building into its grounds. Le Nôtre also worked for British patrons on Saint James’s Park, Hampton Court, Greenwich Park and Windsor Castle.

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