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Jardin des Tuileries

The Tuileries and Carrousel gardens form a pleasant, leafy setting for the Louvre palace. A delight at any season of the year, they provide the perfect place for a relaxing stroll.

Address: Rue de Rivoli, Paris France
Area: Opéra
Arrondissement: 1st
Opening times: 7.30am-7pm daily
Transport: M° (Metro) - Concorde (M1, M8, M12) or Tuileries (M1)
Entry Cost: Free of charge

History of the Jardin des Tuileries

An integral part of the history of the Louvre palace and museum, the Carrousel and Tuileries gardens have enjoyed a colorful life of their own, as private royal retreats, public parks, and even kitchen gardens. Explore the history of these gardens by selecting a major period from the timeline or from the menu on the right.

The site's oldest remains date from the Neolithic period. Initially a Gallo-Roman clay pit, then farmland, the future royal garden was occupied by tile makers from the 13th to the 16th centuries. During Catherine de Médicis' time at the Tuileries palace, a real Italian garden was created as a venue for pleasure and for sumptuous celebrations. Under Henri IV the estate was dedicated to hunting and riding. A menagerie and aviary were added, and the Tuileries became a meeting place for high society.

Louis XIV commissioned André Le Nôtre to design his garden, which was transformed into an extensive, architecturally-influenced prospect of successive groves. The Tuileries gardens were now a favored promenade for Parisian high society and a venue for official celebrations. In the 18th century, Louis XV introduced marble statues, a riding school, and carnival attractions.

Jacques-Louis David was called in to redesign the gardens in 1794, but the fall of Robespierre doomed his ambitious project. The Tuileries gardens were the setting for celebrations and ceremonies under Napoléon I and remained so until the Second Empire. Statues transferred from the palace parks at Versailles, Fontainebleau, and Marly created an open-air sculpture museum.

The Tuileries palace was partly destroyed by fire during the Paris Commune riots, after which the gardens were restored, the statues were replaced, and the site became the venue for such popular events as the first Automobile Fair of 1898. The gardens were once again a favorite haunt for walks and relaxation, with facilities and entertainment for all ages, such as puppet shows, swings, boat rides, cafés, concerts, and parades.

A host of design projects were drawn up and studied in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. The works at the Grand Louvre affected only the Carrousel gardens; however, the wooded areas and terraces were replanted with thousands of trees, the ancient statues were restored and works of contemporary sculpture were added.