The Luxembourg Palace was born in 1615 from the will of Queen Marie de Medici who suffered from homesickness…

Luxembourg Palace

Luxembourg Palace : An Italian-style palace

Marie de Medici, suffering from homesickness, had Salomon de Brosse build this Italian-style palace from 1615. Indeed, having lived her childhood at the Pitti Palace in Florence, the queen mother is bored in a Louvre in poor condition and wishes to rediscover the Florentine spirit. The queen-mother and regent of Louis XIII, therefore signed the deed of purchase of a private mansion rue de Vaugirard in Paris and its eight hectares of garden. An estate which will keep the name of its former owner, the Duke of Luxembourg, and which it will constantly expand by acquiring surrounding land in this Faubourg Saint-Germain where orchards, vineyards and farms then reign.

Luxembourg Palace
Luxembourg Palace

Incredibly luxurious

The Queen’s apartments are incredibly luxurious. Rare species marquetry for the parquet floors, crystal panes set with silver, moldings and pilasters covered with gold, silver columns… But the Palais du Luxembourg includes many characteristics specific to French castles such as the courtyard square, the main courtyard, the dome and the double pavilions in the main building. Today, one can still contemplate the splendor of the decorations commissioned by Marie de Medici. The « salle du Livre d’Or » is a perfect example. This vaulted room, which takes its name from the 400 grams of gold leaf covering it, was decorated by Pierre Thomas Baraguay, who reused woodwork from other rooms in the palace.

Luxembourg Palace
Luxembourg Palace

She was a big spender

The painting in the center of the ceiling is dedicated to Marie de Medici, represented as a figure bringing peace. But the bust of the queen mother who seems to admire the piece, recalls the opinion that the French people had of her at the time. Marie de Medici was indeed considered a big spender; it was she who had asked that blue patterns, the most expensive color to produce at the time, be present throughout the room. However, the queen mother will only benefit from her palace for a short time, her son forced her into exile, following the day of the Dupes, in 1631, the year when her palace was finally completed.

Sénat – Palais du Luxembourg

15 rue de Vaugirard – 75006 Paris

Visits to the Palais du Luxembourg are organized on Mondays and Fridays, provided that the Senate is not sitting, for a maximum of 40 people. Open on the occasion of European Heritage Days, the 3rd weekend of September.

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