Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jardins du Luxembourg

It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday in Paris. I went out for a walk looking for flowers and beautiful vistas. The Jardins of Luxembourg lies about 15 minutes by foot south of the Isle de Cite. It's the second largest park in Paris and was established by Marie de Medicis, the widow of Henry IV, in 1611 and has grown in size on a few occasions since.

The way to the park through Paris streets is not quite straight forward, but I made it by about ten a.m. There were baskers and joggers in abundance - it was a beautiful morning.  The flowers were in full bloom, colorful and healthy from a period of rain and coolish weather. The photos are hard pressed to do justice to the scene. But I, at least, tried.

The famous centerpiece is the Medici Fountain, a sculpture with a long pool in front of it - I guess in the Italian style.

Another view of the flowers with the Luxembourg Palace in the background.  It's all a huge classical French garden, flowers all abloom.

And there are sculptures.  This is the model of the Statue of Liberty which was installed here in 1870, a symbol of French-American friendship.  The final version stands as welcome to immigrants in New York City.

The southern end of the park is the Fountain of the Observatory, which was installed in 1867. It's one of the nicest fountains in Paris, where there are a lot of fountains.

Then I walked to a famous cemetery - Montparnasse - some distance south of there on the irregular streets of Paris.  They were laid out on ancient paths and named and renamed as they were changed, paved and rerouted.  Baudelaire and Jean-Paul Sartre, among others, are buried in Montparnasse and I thought I'd be able to find their graves.  It was too hard.  Too many graves.  So I started back to my home on the isle.  I managed to get myself lost for about ten minutes before I realized that the street I was looking for on the map, had a different name for the first few blocks I had to walk next to it.  I made it safely home  in time for lunch.

This afternoon we went to L'hotel national des Invalides, the national museum of military history.  It has a gold dome and innumerable old and ancient weapons and coats of armor.  Also a complete - I'm assured - history of WWI and WWII.

I came away realizing that the history of Europe is closely aligned with the history of war.

There were also cannons. Old ones, but state of the art when they were new. They were displayed in the courtyard.

It was a long, busy day and my dogs were barking by the time I reached the Isle de Cite.


Santini said...

Really quite beautiful gardens and lovely fountains. I keep thinking that you'll run out of new stuff to see and photograph, but that obviously isn't happening.

Rest those barking dogs.

Sim Carter said...

Hello Tennis! What great photos you take! I love your image of the fountain at the Luxuembourg Fountain so much that I've borrowed it for a blogpost about the 12 Paris locations used in the film Gigi. You've captured just the spot that Louis Jourdan stood in during his singing of the titular song. I've given you credit and linked back to you so I hope you don't mind!
Thanks very much!