This exquisite park spreads from the Louvre to the place de la Concorde. What you see today is based on the design by 17th-century master landscape artist André Le Nôtre—the man behind the gardens of Versailles. Le Nôtre’s elegant geometry of flowerbeds, parterres, and groves of trees made the Tuileries Gardens the ultimate stroll for the era’s well-to-do Parisians. It continues to delight both tourists and locals in the 21st century.
During World War II, furious fighting went on here, and many statues were damaged. Little by little in the postwar years, the garden put itself back together. Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century representations of various gods and goddesses were repaired, and the city added new works by modern masters such as Alberto Giocometti, Jean Dubuffet, and Henry Moore. Rodin’s “The Kiss” and “Eve” are here, as well as a series of 18 of Maillol’s curvaceous women, peeking out of the green labyrinth of hedges in the Carousel Gardens near the museum.
Pulling up a metal chair and sunning yourself on the edge of the large fountain in the center of the gardens (the Grande Carrée) is a delightful respite for tired tourists after a day in the Louvre; tots will enjoy playing with one of the wooden toy sailboats that you can rent from a stand (2.50€/half-hour).
- Margie Rynn