Palais de Luxembourg


So, this weekend (20th and 21st of September), some places in France are open for free because of the Heritage Days. Since I live next to the Luxembourg gardens, I tried my luck yesterday to see if the palace was open for free too. And it was!

I had my lunch in my bag, but I decided to queue, not knowing that the queue was going to take a while and that I would be growing hungry from just standing there. Nevertheless, I stayed put, because I really wanted to see the palace. And boy was it worth it. 

Once we got in, the hunger went away. I was so impressed by everything, that I literally had my mouth agape when I saw how elegant and rich and glamorous the décor was. I could picture the royals and noblemen that graced the place back in their day. The paintings also helped to put faces to the names that I read about on the little leaflet they gave us at the entrance. 

                              Library ceiling with Dante's Inferno
                                         by Delacroix

After the death of Henri IV in 1610, his widow, Marie de Médicis, became regent to her son, Louis XIII. Having acceded to a much more powerful position, she decided to erect a new palace for herself, adjacent to an old hôtel particulier owned by François-Henri de Montmorency, duc de Piney-Luxembourg, which is now called the Palais du Petit-Luxembourg, home of the president of the French Senate. 

The building is inspired by Florence's Palazzo Pitti which was the native building of Marie de Médicis, and hired the architect Métezeau to make detailed drawings of the building by sending him to Florence.
                               Salle des Conférences

During the French Revolution, it was briefly a prison, then the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. 

                    The Seven Statues facing the Senate Chamber's
                        Semicircle (from left to right):
                    Turgot • d'Aguesseau • l'Hôpital • Colbert • 
                        Molé • Malesherbes • Portalis

It was such a lovely day, I loved the Palace and I can't wait to visit Château de Versailles now because I can guess it'll be more extravagant than this! Mum should hurry up, because we'll be going together to visit it! Can't wait! 

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