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In 1564, Catherine de Medici began building the palace of the Tuileries.

In French, tuilerie means tile kiln and that is what previously occupied this site. Louis XIV resided in the Tuileries Palace while Versailles was under construction, and he commissioned his royal gardener, Andre Le Notre to design the gardens of the Tuileries in 1664.

The Palais de Tuileries was burned to the ground during the suppression of the Paris Commune in 1871, which opened up the vistas from the park that we enjoy today.

The Louvre is to the East, the Seine is South of the gardens, the Place de la Concorde to the West and Place Vendome, just North.

This oasis within the city includes formal gardens, fountains, sculpture, paths, a pond for floating toy boats, a ferris wheel for the young and old, and two museums.

The Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, now a museum devoted to photography, was once a royal tennis court. It was built by Napoleon III in 1851 and is located in the northwest corner of the gardens. The Musee de l’Orangerie, on the southwest side of the gardens, was formerly a greenhouse used for the protection of citrus trees during the winter months. Today it is the home of Claude Monet’s famous series of water lily paintings called, the Nympheas.

When you get hungry, head for the little café with outdoor seating called Dame Tartine near the Musee du Jeu de Paume. It’s more sophisticated than the usual park concession fare and a sweet place to sit awhile and count your blessings.

Rue de Rivoli
1st Arrondisement
Metro: Tuileries, Concorde

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