Jardin des Tuileries, Paris visitors guide
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The Jardin des Tuileries is a large area of gardens and park in the centre of Paris, between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. Very popular with locals and visitors, it is also a perfect place to relax after visiting the museums and monuments near the gardens.
Given its location it would be almost impossible to spend some time in Paris and not find yourself in the Jardin des Tuileries sooner or later so you don't really need to plan a visit as an 'extra' attraction on your itinerary: but when you find yourself in the garden it is useful to know the principal highlights to look out for...
Exploring the Jardin des Tuileries
Broadly speaking the Jardin des Tuileries is more formal at the end nearest the Louvre and more informal - with lots of trees and shrubs - at the western end near the Place de la Concorde. This broadly follows the original plan as designed by the royal gardener Le Nôtre in 1664.
Le Notre had the task of taking a rather barren area of wasteland and disused tile factories (hence the name tuileries) and converting it into a royal garden. He had the idea of creating one long straight avenue down the middle with features on either side. This design is still to be seen, having been largely recreated in the 1980's.
This design allows the distant Arc de Triomphe to be seen at the far end of the straight line that passes through the Jardin des Tuileries and the Champs-Elysées. In fact the same clear straight line continues several kilometres further to the Grande Arche de la Defense, eight kilometres from here.
Along the course of the main path through the Jardin des Tuileries you pass numerous water features, garden areas and statues as well as kiosks and cafes, although historical pictures of the gardens suggest that it originally had many more plants and larger areas of formal gardens than it now does, as well as many smaller attractions to interest visitors.
There are plenty of seats if you have come here for a picnic or to escape the crowds of the Louvre for a while.
One notable attraction at the Louvre end of the gardens near the Arc du Carousel is a collection of bronze statues of large naked women by a French artist called Aristide Maillol (1861-1944).
At the far end of the gardens near the Place de la Concorde there are two notable museums:
- One of these is the Jeu de Paume, an attractive building built so that Napoleon III could play 'jeu de paume', a forerunner of modern tennis. The building was converted into an art museum in the early 20th century and originally held the collection of impressionist paintings that is now in the Museum d'Orsay. It now features temporary exhibitions by modern artists.
- More interesting to most visitors is the Museum de l'Orangerie, with its famous collection of paintings of waterlilies by Monet (based on the gardens at Giverny, one of the most famous French gardens) and also in an imposing classical style building. See Museum de l'Orangerie for details.
Map of Jardin des Tuileries and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Place de la Concorde: Paris
- Orsay Museum: Paris
- Place Vendome: Paris
- Palais Bourbon: Paris
- Eglise de la Madeleine: Paris
- Cathédrale de Notre Dame (Paris): religious monument
- Sainte Chapelle (Paris): religious monument
- The Louvre: Paris
- Palais Royal: Paris
- Jardin du Palais-Royal: remarkable garden
- Petit Palais: Paris
- Paris Opera: Paris