Once the royal garden part of the long gone Tuileries Palace, the Tuileries garden was created in the Italian Renaissance style in the sixteenth century by Catherine of Medici wife to Henry II of France. But it wasn’t till the seventeenth century when the garden was redesigned by the landscape architect André Le Nôtre under the reign of Louis XIV and opened to the public in 1667. Today Le Nôtre’s French style garden is still an enchantment to many. Seventeenth century style antique statues as well as works of famous sculptors are the permanent inhabitants peeping among the labyrinth of green hedges or swimming along hues of violet and purple Irises bordering the garden. I simply enjoy walking along the shady lime trees surrounded by fountains – a great way to spend the afternoons while relaxing in the many garden cafe. What is interesting about this garden is the perfect alignment from the Louvre facing the Carrousel Triumphal Arch to the Place de La Concorde with the enigmatic Luxor Obelisk looking towards the great Triumphal Arch before reaching La Défense with another great Arch – a clear image of the hidden Masonic symbols embedded within the mystical urban landscape of Paris. With a clear sky on certain moment during the day you can get a view of that perfect alignment with the gilded topped Obelisk from the Tuileries garden. This was originally the architectural perspective drawn by Le Nôtre under the instruction of the “Sun King” Louis XIV. The great perspective also known as ” La Voie Triomphale” was designed as to follow the course of the rising sun from the East and setting of the sun towards the west, one of the most important ritual surrounding the daily life of Louis XIV who personified himself as the sun symbol of Apollo god of the arts. Regardless of the sacred and undoubtedly complex architectural symbolism of the place in relation to the urban design that began during the reign of Louis XIV, the Tuileries garden remain one of my favourite walks in the city … rain or shine !
Categories: Tuileries Gardens