Thursday, May 3, 2012

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 37

Le Palais du Luxembourg, ca 1900

I thought it might be interesting to compare these two pictures, one taken around 1900 and the other in April 2012. 

Le Palais du Luxembourg, 2012

Completed in 1631 this building was once the royal palace until the Revolution.  At various times it has been used as a prison, headquarters for the Luftwaffe during World War II, bomb shelters were under the gardens and it is now used by the French Senate.  It is located inside a large lovely park on the Left Bank called the Jardin due Luxembourg.  The park was not too far from our hotel and we walked through it on our first day in Paris.  There are two other parks to the south that are only separated by the streets so it is an immense green area altogether.   The gardens are all symmetrical with the trees cut in precise lines—rectangles, circles, and triangles and several statues and fountains.  Every shape is symbolic, the triangle points to heaven, the circles represent the eternal nature, and the rectangles order in the world.  One of the parks was a “nature or natural park” but it was as planned and orderly as the others.  Pleasing to look at, restful even, but to me they all show that man made them and seem like gardens more than parks.  It was interesting and quite different from the nature parks and wildlife preserves we have here in the US.  

Looking toward the Jardin du Luxembourg

Pond in the Jardin du Luxembourg.
Children often sail small toy boats in the pond although the day were there we did not see any doing so.  As in most of the parks we visited there are statues along the walkway.  Part of the Eiffel Tower can be seen in the background.

Looking from the Jardin du Luxembourg toward the Jardin des Grands Exploratuers

Fountain in the Jardin des Grands Explorateurs

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