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Jardin du Luxembourg

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The Jardin des Tuileries (Garden of Tiles) is the largest and oldest park in the City of Paris. It is conveniently located in the heart of Paris, with the Place de la Concorde on the western border of the park and the Lourve Museum on the eastern border of the park, in the 1 st arrondissement of Paris. The Tuileries Garden was created in the 16 th century as a royal garden to accompany the now demolished Tuileries Palace, which was the final home of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette in 1792.

As with any attraction in Paris, there is excellent public transport nearby. The best subway station to debark is at the aptly named Tuileries Metro station on Line #1. To reach other portions of this vast garden, you can also access either the Concorde or Palais Royal-Musee du Lourve Metro stops on the same Metro line.

The Tuileries Palace was built for Catherine Medici, who was the queen consort of France for 12 years and the wife of King Henry II of France. The Medici family was a wealthy and politically important family from Italy who had the distinction of owning the largest bank in Europe during the 15 th century. Catherine was the mother of Charles IX, King of France, who ruled France during the 16 th century for nearly 15 years. Napoleon Bonaparte also used this palace as his primary residence during his long reign of power.

Like the Palace of Versailles, the Tuileries Palace was long the source of anger of hostility amongst the French commoners. The palace represented a sense of privilege, excess and wastefulness during the regime of the French royals as commoners of the day barely had enough food to survive. The anger became so great that the royal palace was set on fire and totally destroyed in 1871.

What remains today is a fabulous park and garden that spans 25 hectares, with a very popular carousel, huge Ferris wheel and other amusement park rides. The Jardin du Carousel was built in 1879 and is the oldest carousel in the city. The instantly recognizable Ferris wheel (Grand Roue) at 60 metres high was built for the Year 2000 Millennium celebrations in Paris. The Ferris wheel is taken apart and then reassembled again during the dry seasons. If you have ever viewed the Tour de France on the final day, you will notice the cyclists zooming past the Ferris wheel after circling around the Place de la Concorde on the park's western border.

At the southwestern corner of the park is a very popular museum along the River Seine known as the Musee de l'Orangerie (Orangery –citrus greenhouse). This is an often overlooked museum of impressionist and post impressionist art, but well worth the visit as it houses many world famous works of art, including several of Claude Monet's Water Lilies as well as paintings from other world renown artists such as Henri Matisse, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Rousseau and Pablo Picasso. There are also a particularly important sculptures on the 2 nd level balcony created by Auguste Rodin.
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