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Paris - Ile De France

Palais Royal and its gardens - History

This page was updated on: Saturday, January 13, 2018 at: 5:30 pm

Palais Cardinal

The Palais Royal was initially known as Palais Cardinal!

In 1624, Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Richelieu, indeed commissioned the architect Mercier with the construction of a mansion on the north side of the Louvre Palace.

Richelieu enjoyed his palace for a few years only, as he died in 1632.

He bequeathed his palace to King Louis XIII and his descendants.

Louis XIII died shortly after!

The young Louis XIV and his mother Anne of Austria took up residence in the Palais Cardinal, which became known as Palais Royal.

Palais Royal

The palace underwent significant transformations in the 18th century.

Its new owner, Louis-Philippe d'Orléans, erected the wings and arcades that enclose the gardens in order to generate funds to pay his debts!

The arcades, open to the public, soon hosted questionable trades that attracted the fringes of society.

Amazingly, the palace was saved when it became national property in 1793!

Napoleon III restored it and made it his official residence after the Revolution of 1848.

The Palais Royal was once more restored after the degradation of the Paris Commune of 1871!

Palais Royal, the seat of the Conseil d'Etat

The Palais Royal is not open to the public, except on Heritage Days in September, as it is the seat of the Constitutional Council and Ministry of Culture.

The Ministry of Culture occupies the wing on Rue de Valois.

The building's inner gallery is also known as Galerie des Proues.

It owes its name to the nautical theme of the sculptures commissioned by Richelieu, when he was Minister of the Navy.

It also contains visible vestiges of the Palais Cardinal.

The U-shape buildings frame the Cour d'Honneur and the Colonnes de Buren, which are delineated from the gardens by the Galerie d'Orléans.

This double colonnade, built during the Bourbon Restoration (1814-1830), leads to the Fontaines de Pol Bury.

Palais Royal Gardens

The Jardin du Palais Royal is one of the most popular public parks in Paris!

Parisians indeed come at lunch time or on Sundays to relax on one of the many benches and chairs.

The 5-hectare garden, planted with a profusion of flowers and lawns, is laid-out around a central pond and its fountain.

You’ll also find small and exclusive shops, mostly antiques, in the elegant arcades that enclose them.

The Galerie de Montpensier (western side) is home to second-hand medals and decorations shops, tea-rooms and cafes.

The Galerie de Valois (eastern side) is the haunt of engravers and decorators.

Finally, the Galerie de Beaujolais (northern side) owes its fame to the restaurant Le Grand Véfour.

Several tiny passageways cut through these galleries.

The Passage Vérité, to the east, connects the small Place de Valois to Rue de Montesquieu.

The Passage-des-Deux-Pavillons, to the north, connects Rue de Beaujolais to Rue des Petits-Champs.

Finally, the unassuming Passage Hulot and Passage Potier (to the west), lead from Rue de Montpensier to Rue de Richelieu.

The Jardins du Palais Royal is an enclosed oasis of greenery in the heart of Paris!

Directions: 1st district
Metro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre on Line 1
Coordinates: Lat 48.863620 - Long 2.336810

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