The garden of the Palais-Royal with its groves of flowers and its lime trees is a parenthesis of nature and history in the heart of Paris.
The Royal families residence
Before the construction of the Palace of Versailles, it was here, in the heart of Paris, that the royal families resided. Today you can discover contemporary works such as the Bury fountain or the famous Buren columns. Finally, it is also possible to stroll through the few shops still installed under the arcades or to taste delicious dishes at the Grand Véfour, the oldest restaurant in Paris and one of the most famous addresses. At Grand-Véfour (1740), which has withstood the onslaught of time, the chairs accommodated respectable seants: Murat, the explorer Humboldt, the Duke of Berry, Lamartine… While in the apartments perched above the café, Danton, Robespierre or Fabre d’Eglantine crossed paths, because the galleries also housed literary cabinets and learned booksellers. We lost fortunes there at biribi, and at roulette, we listened to the ventriloquist, discovered the theater of Chinese shadows, the Prussian of 2.20m or the man of 238 kilos… The arcades of the Palais Royal were also renowned for its Cabinet des Figures de Cires (1785). Designed by the Swiss Curtius, it presented life-size wax figures for the first time. It was his niece, who by marrying a certain Monsieur Tussaud, an Englishman, was at the origin of the famous wax museum in London called « Madame Tussaud »!
A magnificient architectural ensemble
The layout of the gardens of the Palais-Royal was modified during the reign of Charles X (1824-1830), giving them their current appearance. Nowadays, one can still see, with a little imagination, all these illustrious characters haunting the galleries of the Palais Royal, thanks to the few shops and cafes that try to perpetuate the tradition. At the entrance, towards the Place du Palais-Royal, you will discover the columns of Daniel Buren (1986) with their characteristic white and gray stripes, overlooking an underground network of waterways where tourists and Parisians in search of love often toss coins before making a wish. A few steps away, water flows tirelessly along the walls of Paul Bury‘s polished steel balls, which sparkle in the sun. The very small canon-chronometer, which had been stolen in 1998, has found its place. It sits in the center of the garden of the Palais Royal since 1786. Installed on the line of the meridian of Paris, it thundered at noon precisely on sunny days, from May to October, until 1914 and made a person say: « In this garden, everything comes together, Except for shade and flowers; If one disturbs one’s morals there, At least one adjusts one’s watch there. In the center of this magnificent architectural ensemble, a peaceful garden awaits you. A walk in the shade of lime trees and chestnut trees awaits you, unless you prefer to read a book facing the central basin.
8 rue de Montpensier 75001 Paris 1st
Metro: Palais Royal – Louvre Museum (Line 1 and 7), Pyramides (Line 7 and 14)