Gumbo's Pic of the Day, March 9, 2014: Garden of the Palais Royale, Paris

1-DSCF0013%252BThese well-behaved trees provide a shady refuge in summer heat in the Jardin du Palais Royal in Paris. Beyond the alley of trees, the gardens contain a well-manicured lawn surrounded by riotous flower beds. The palace stands at one end, and the rest of the garden is flanked by low colonnaded buildings that once housed the entire French government, but today are filled with boutiques and restaurants. The palace itself is occupied by the Council of State and the Ministry of Culture.

 

The name Palais Royal is barely appropriate: No king has lived there except Louis XIII in the last year of his life. It was built originally by Cardinal Richelieu as the Palais Cardinal, and was inherited by the king when the cardinal died in 1642. After Louis died, the Royal name stuck because the royal family owned it until the Revolution, and used it for offices and to house inconvenient relatives, including the family of Charles I, the deposed Stuart King of England. After Napoleon, it was again owned by the royals until 1870.

 

Its location near the Louvre, the Comedie Francaise and the Bibliotheque Nationale makes it a popular spot to spend some time. 

 

 

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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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