Royal Paris

In the First Arondissement we find reminders of royal presence in Paris: The Louvre, the Tuileries gardens, the Palais Royal, the Conciergerie and the Sainte Chapelle. Because Paris is overrun by tourists in July and we had visited the major tourist attractions during other visits, this time we avoided them as much as possible. We strolled through the Tuileries and visited the Orangerie.

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Jardin des Tuileries

"Tuile" is French for "tile" and from the 13th to the 16th centuries the area west of the Louvre palace were occupied by roofing tile factories called "tuileries". A Palace was built there in the 16th century, so it was called the Tuileries Palace. Marie de Medeci had Italian-style gardens built in front of the palace, so they were the Tuileries Gardens. Later monarchs expanded and redesigned them. In 1667 they became the first royal gardens open to the public.


The Louvre courtyard opens onto the gardens. The Tuileries Palace is gone.

At the eastern end is the Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe du Carousel

La Rivière (1938) by Aristide Maillol

The large octagonal basin is bordered with plantings of lavender.

I used to sail my toy sailboat in the round basin.

Tigress portant un paon a ses petits (Tigress bringing a peacock to its young) (1873), by Auguste Cain

Segway tour

Joan of Arc (1874) by Emmanuel Frémiet in the Place des Pyramides just north of the Tuileries

Rodin's The Kiss (1898) is near the Orangerie

Tickets to the OrangerieMusée de l'Orangerie

The western end of the Tuileries is flanked by two long, thin buildings built in the 19th century. On the north is the "Jeu de Paume" (Handball court), and on the south is the Orangerie, originally used to bring potted orange trees indoors for the winter. In the 20th century both became art museums. The extensive collection of impressionist works in the Jeu de Paume formed the nucleus of the Musée d'Orsay when it was opened.

In 1927 the series Water Lilies by Claude Monet was installed in a special gallery in the Orangerie designed by the artist. Later modifications cut off the indirect daylight that Monet had intended. The gallery was closed for restoration between 2000 and 2006 and Monet's great work is once again displayed as he intended. The model seen here illustrates the cones in the ceilings which capture the changing daylight through the glass roof and bring it down to the two rooms whose walls are covered by the massive canvases.

Orangerie
Orangerie museum
Model of Orangerie
Model showing Water Lilies rooms
Musée d'Orsay
Musée d'Orsay

Downstairs is the Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume collection of Impressionist painting.


 Claude MONET 1875: Les bateaux rouges, Argenteuil

Paul GAUGIN 1901: Paysage

Auguste RENOIR: Femme à la lettre

Auguste RENOIR: Jeunes filles au piano

Henri ROUSSEAU: Les Pêcheurs à la ligne

Amadeo MODIGLIANI: Le jeune apprenti

Pablo PICASSO 1917: Grande nature morte

Maurice UTRILLO: Rue du Mont-Cenis

André DERAIN: Portrait de Madame Paul Guillaume au Grand Châpeau