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Jardin du Luxembourg

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The Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens) is considered to be the most popular and second largest park in the City of Paris at over 22 hectares. Luxembourg Gardens is located in the 6 arrondissement of Paris, not far from the Pantheon, Latin Quarter and the University of Paris. The park is also just over 1 km away from the Notre Dame Cathedral on the left bank, but the Paris RER will drop you off right next to the park. If you are in the area, you might also want to visit the Pantheon, which was built to resemble the more famous Pantheon in Rome. Some of France's most important people are buried there including French philosopher Voltaire, Victor Hugo author of the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Les Miserables”, French scientists Pierre and Marie Curie, and Alexandre Dumas author of The “Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo”.

In order to reach the park via public transport, the station you will debark from is aptly named Luxembourg on RER Line B next to the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines de Paris, which is one of the top engineering colleges in Paris. It is not recommended that you use the Paris Metro unless you don't mind walking. The closest Metro station is Odeon on Line #4 and is about 700 metres from the park.

The idea to create a park and palace on the property was the created by Marie de Medici, part of the politically prominent and wealthy Medici family of Italy, queen consort and wife of French King Henry IV. She was also the mother of King Louis XIII, who was the King of France for over 30 years. The Luxembourg Palace that was built for Marie de Medici is now home to the French Senate. During her reign as regent of France, she commissioned the famous Dutch painter Peter Paul Reubens to paint 24 works of art to be housed within the palace. However Marie de Medici was later exiled and today all of Reuben's work, known as the Marie de Medici Cycle and is housed at the Lourve. Another smaller palace known as the Petit Luxembourg was also build during this era and is now the official residence of the French President of the Senate.

The park also features a large number of famous sculptures, memorials and fountains, including the Fountain of the Observatory, the Medici Fountain, and perhaps most importantly, the original life size model of the Statue of Liberty created by the famous French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. Although not nearly as impressive as the Statue of Liberty in the New York City Harbour, this original statue remains an important relic of Parisian history. Please do not mistake this for another model of the Statue of Liberty in Paris. There is another replica near Pont de Grenelle, about 1 km south of the Eiffel Tower, along the River Seine however the original is the statue at Luxembourg Garden. Another important statue is the statue of St. Genevieve, the Patroness of Paris, who lived in the city circa the year 500.
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