In the 17th century, the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, France was opened as the first public park in Europe. The Jardin des Tuileries spans about 63 acres and still closely resembles the 1664 design by landscape designer, Andre le Notre. The site of the Jardin des Tuileries was formerly used for manufacturing bricks and tiles. The garden’s name originates from the history of the building site. The French word for tile is "thuile", which is where the name Tuileries was derived.
The land for the Jardin des Tuileries was acquired by Francois I to build a palace, however the project was not accomplished during his reign. The Tuileries palace and garden was created between 1564 and 1572 by Catherine de Medici, the widow of King Henry II. Architect Philibert de L'Orme was employed by Catherine to draw up the original plans. The Jardin des tuileries was inspired by Italian garden design and extended beyond the current city wall.
The Tuileries were later remade between 1594 and 1609 by Henry IV. The Jardin des Tuileries was transformed yet again between 1666 and 1671 for Louis XIV by garden designer, Andre le Notre. In 1850 Napoleon III added his own touch to the Jardin des Tuileries by developing a section as the private palatial garden. He did so by surrounding the parterres closest to the palace with ditches to exclude the public. Today the gardens remain quite similar to the original design of Andre le Notre.
The Jardin des Tuileries was originally designed as the landscape in front of the Palace de Tuileries. However, in 1871 the palace was looted and burned during the suppression of the Paris Commune. The palace has never been rebuild but the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries remains. The Tuileries palace was centered on the Axe historique, which extends from the center of Paris to the West. Without the Palace, the Louvre has a clear view of the gardens and Axe historique, although it is located slightly off –center to the axis.
A historic view of the Jardin des Tuileries when the Tuileries Palace was still in tact.
In its more recent history, cultural minister, Jack Lang, solicited a competition between eight teams of landscape designers in 1990. The goal was to preserve the architectural concept of the park, while integrating new plant life throughout the space. The final plan is a merger of the ideas of two different teams and is still on view. The project is to be divided into two parts the Tuileries and the Place du Carrousel. Pascal Cribier and Louis Benech will be working on the Tuileries. In order to create a transition between the two spaces, the avenue that now separates them will be rerouted underground to make way for an overlooking terrace. The French people embrace the changes to the Jardin des Tuileries and regard the change as more of a continuation of its 400 year history rather than a renovation or restoration.
The Jardin des Tuileries is located on the central axis. To the north of the Jardin des Tuileries is the Rue de Rivoli, to the south is the Siene river, to the east is the Louvre, and to the west is the Place de la Concorde. The address is Rue de Rivoli, Ile-de-France, Paris, France, 75001.
A Parterre Garden at the Tuileries
The garden is designed so that the eye follows the tree-lined path of the Champs Elysees to give the sensation of an endless garden. So, when Louis IV looked out the front windows of the Tuileries Palace, he was reminded that he was King of this vast and beautiful place. Andre le Notre brought the illusion of symmetry to the Jardin des Tuileries. He created this vision through reducing the number of parterres in his design and enlarging the parterres on the south side. Parterre gardens are constructed on a level surface and may be composed of planting beds, clipped hedges, and gravel pathways conventionally arranged in a symmetrical pattern. The perspective was also manipulated to appear more balanced by increasing the size of the water pools as they receded into the distance. The area behind the palace was filled in with bosquets. A bosquet is a formal plantation of at least five identical trees regularly spaced so that the trunks line up along all views. The Jardin des Tuileries also has axial pathways. The impact of the central axis, which was extended by the Champs-Elysees is especially stunning because it helps to create the illusion of an endless garden. The bilateral symmetry of the Jardin des Tuileries is also a feat of landscape design that adds to the magnificence of the garden.
Throughout the park a variety of water pools, features, and fountains are strategically placed. The water elements offer a relaxing place for visitors to unwind and enjoy the sound of flowing water. Other features include the parterres and intricate pathways, such as the three main allées, which run east to west. The allées are lined with fir, elm, and sycamore trees. Another stunning feature is the raised terrace added by Henry IV, which runs along the Rue de Rivoli and is lined with a double row of mulberry trees. The Grand Terrasse, was part of Andre le Notre's plan and runs along Le Siene river. There is also the Jardin de Renard, which is an orangery and flower garden named in honor of the creator.
The Jardin des Tuileries are an extremely significant landmark in the history of landscape architecture because the garden was the first public park, even though it started as a royal garden. The Jardin des Tuileries has since been the inspiration for many other public parks across Europe.
The Jardin des Tuileries has always been an epicenter for French culture. Since it was opened as the first public park Parisians of all classes and cultures have used the garden as a place to meet, eat lunch, and socialize. Throughout history, the Jardin des Tuileries has also been a prominent display location for an array of art installations and sculptures, further enhancing the cultural climate of the gardens.
Sculpures at the Jardin Des Tuileries
The Jardin des Tuileries is free and open to the public from dawn until dusk daily. It is conveniently located near le Louvre and la Place de Concorde in central Paris. The closest metro is Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre station. The following bus lines stop in front of the Pyramid of the Louvre: 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, 95, and the Paris Open Tour bus and the Jardin des tuileries is within walking distance from here.
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