Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries)
I’ve written about the Tuileries Garden in Paris before, but these gardens are so lovely and so popular that I want to feature them again, although here I’ll focus on a few of the statues in the gardens.
Here is one called Annibal or Hannibal by Sebastien Slodtz (1655-1726). It’s marble done in 1722 and placed in the Tuileries the same year. What’s interesting is that many of these outdoor sculptures have been outdoors for so long.
Part of the fun of being in Paris for a while is strolling through the beautiful Tuileries Garden, which we do every time we visit, regardless of the weather. Created by Catherine de Medicis as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564, it was opened to the public in 1667 and became a public park after the French Revolution. Parisians immediately loved it as a place to relax, meet, celebrate and promenade, and this continues to this day.
The gardens are a “happening” place almost any time of the year, but especially in warmer weather. These lovely gardens are free to the public, well loved and well cared for and you’ll often see a group of gardeners hard at work, cutting, pruning, planting, raking. From about mid-March, when the lawns are just greening and the trees budding, the gardeners already have the flower beds beautifully planted so they are colorful, and this continues way into the late autumn.
Wide straight gravel walkways lead from the Arc du Carrousel at the edge of the Louvre Museum, to Place de la Concorde, with views all the way to the Arc de Triomphe. The paths are lined with flower beds, swathes of lawn, avenues of trees, and meander around huge circular fountains that are fringed with white marble or bronze statues of saints, Romans, nymphs, men with beasts etc.
Playgrounds with trampolines, a musical carrousel, chairs a-plenty, four outdoor cafes, and various food/drink kiosks all make it very people-friendly. Locals flock here—groups of school kids, people with kids in strollers or running around, bikers, young and old, dogs; tourists by the gazillion; youth on roller blades; folk with icecreams. People sit by the fountains, or pull up a chair to read or to have a nap.
The last time we were in the gardens we stopped to look more closely at some of the statues, all very interesting, with a theme and a story (many of which are battles and victories of some sort). We’ve never really done that before, and it seems that for most locals (and visitors even) the statues are just background sights: they are just there, and yet they do help to make the gardens what they are and add to their character.
Return from the Hunt, bronze 1888, by Antonin Carles (1851-1919), placed in the Tuileries 1890.
Theseus fighting the Minotaur, by Etienne Jules Ramey (1796-1852), marble 1821-1827. Placed in the Tuileries 1832.
Tigress carrying a peacock to her babies, by Auguste Nicolas Cain (1821-1894), bronze 1873-1876, placed in the Tuileries 1884.
Tiger bringing down a crocodile, by Auguste Nicolas Cain (1821-1894), bronze 1869, placed in the Tuileries 1874.