Skip to content
ArabicChinese (Simplified)DutchEnglishFrenchGermanGreekHindiItalianJapanesePortugueseRussianSpanish

Paris - Ile De France

Palais Royal and its gardens - History

This page was updated on: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at: 9:41 pm

Palais Royal, the seat of the Conseil d'Etat

The Palais Royal was known as Palais Cardinal when Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Richelieu, built in the 17th century.

The U-shaped mansion changed hands a few times over time, and is today the seat of the Constitutional Council and Ministry of Culture. It's not open to the public, except on Heritage Days in September.

However, the Court d'Honneur (with the Colonnes de Buren), the garden and the galleries are.

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.

The Galerie d'Orléans delineates the Cour d'Honneur from the gardens. This double colonnade, built during the Bourbon Restoration (1814-1830), encompass the Fontaines de Pol Bury.

Palais Royal Gardens

The Jardin du Palais Royal is one of the most popular public parks of the capital.

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, bushes, trees 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 it.

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!

Palais-Royal gardens in spring
Palais-Royal gardens in spring

Palais Cardinal

Impossible to stroll through the elegant garden without discovering some of the palace's history!

Cardinal Richelieu, commissioned the architect Mercier in 1634 with the construction of a mansion on the northern side of the Louvre Palace.

However, he died few years after completion of his palace, which he bequeathed to Louis XIII and his descendants.

The king died also, shortly after inheriting it, so 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 major transformations in the 18th century.

The new owner, Louis-Philippe d'Orléans, erected the buildings and their arcaded galleries all around the the gardens to generate funds in order to pay his debts!

However, the arcades opened to the public and soon hosted questionable trades that drew in the wrong crowds.

Oddly, the Palais Royal was saved from further degradation when it became national property at the Revolution 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 and not suffered further damage since.

It's today one of the most elegant set of buildings in Paris, and the garden one of the most sought after leisure spots.

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

10 things to do in Paris on a rainy day

Top 10 things to do in Paris on a rainy day

We've compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in Paris on a rainy day, from traditional to off the beaten track visits
Cultural Metro stations in Paris

Cultural Metro stations in Paris

Paris Metro has 303 stations, many of which have been redecorated and refurbished to promote the monuments or districts they serve
Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche seen from the Square Boucicaut

Le Bon Marché, Paris’ oldest department store

Le Bon Marché, the oldest department store in Paris and the only one on the Left Bank, is a Parisian luxury icon that belongs to the LVMH group
Printemps Haussmann - Paul Sedille's facade on Boulevard Haussmann

Printemps Haussmann, luxury department store

History of Printemps Haussmann, an iconic Parisian luxury department store that spreads on 3 interconnected Art Nouveau buildings on Boulevard Haussmann

Sign up to our newsletter

Travel France Online will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates via our newsletter. By selecting the boxes on the form you confirm your acceptance to receive our newsletter.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at admin@travelfranceonline.com

We will treat your information with respect. For more information please visit our privacy policy page