When is the last time you spent time in a park while on holiday? I have to admit, it is one of my favourite things to do when in Paris. It is a great way to either start or end a busy day of exploring the city – a chance to slow down, relax and soak up what is the best of Paris has to offer.
Jardin du Luxembourg is situated in the 6th arrondissement on the left bank between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter, the garden is open from sunrise to sunset all year round.
History tells us that the Jardin du Luxembourg began in the early 1600s for Henri IV’s widowed queen Marie de Médici. It is approximately 60 acres or 25 hectares and offers both English and French style gardens with a large fountain and pond dividing the two. The large circular pond in the middle of the park is where you will find the small little sailboats where children use long sticks to navigate their miniature sails.
Spread throughout Jardin du Luxembourg are 106 statues, as well as, the monumental Fountaine de Médicis which is an oblong pool flanked by tall twin sycamore trees making it stunningly beautiful, quiet and moody. There is also a museum that offers rotating art exhibits and weather-permitting there is always a free photo exhibit showcasing work by local artists.
My absolute favourite thing is seeing the battered green metal garden chairs. The famous French Fermob chairs are generously scattered all over the park. I love how some are upright and lined up perfectly while others may be tipped over or at an odd angle. They give the park a casual yet quintessential Paris chic look. And, they are the perfect chair to indulge in a little people-watching.
It’s obvious that this is a common meeting place for Parisians – whether it be to relax, read, to catch up with a friend, to play chess or bocce ball, go for a run or have a picnic. And, for just a moment, I lose myself in the thought that I am not on holiday, but I am actually a local who is just spending some time relaxing in one of Paris’s most peaceful and beautiful parks.