A walk around MARIE DAÂGE’s
THE LUXEMBOURG GARDENS
The Luxembourg Gardens, in French Jardin du Luxembourg, is a breathtaking public garden, among the largest in Paris. First inaugurated in 1612 by Maria de’ Medici, the park is a lovely ideal place for those who want to spend a few relaxing hours outdoor.
Besides the rich vegetation, the garden is also rich in statues and monuments such as the famous Medici Fountain, consisting of a long basin with trees on both sides that ends with a newsstand.
CHURCH OF VAL-DE-GRÂCE
The church is located on the southern side of the Luxembourg Gardens, and it’s a perfect example of French classicism and baroque, eight minutes away by
foot from the Luxembourg Gardens. Val-de-Grâce was built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart for Anna of Austria, wife of Louis XIII, as a sign of gratitude for her son’s birth, the future Sun King. Construction work began in 1645 and was then completed in 1667 by the architect Jacques Lemercier. The church façade is inspired by the Church of Sant’Agnese in Rome while also echoing the façade of the Escurial in Spain.
CHURCH OF SAINT-SULPICE
This magnificent church is located North of the Luxembourg Gardens. With a four-minute walk from the Gardens, you will get the chance to admire the second largest church in the French capital after Notre-Dame. Located in Place Saint-Sulpice, the church was built on the foundations of a 13th-century building. Construction work began in 1645 by the architect Christophe Gamard; however, the original project was then considered too challenging to complete and assigned to Daniel Gittard and Louis Le Vau.
It took 130 years to complete the church. Inside the church, there are numerous French artists’ works of art, among which the magnificent holy fountain sculpted by Jean Baptiste Pigalle stands out.
Home to one of the finest collections of medieval art in the world, the museum is located on Place de Paul Painlevé, which can
be reached on foot from the east side of the Luxembourg Gardens in just seven minutes.
The French State founded the museum in 1843 with the private collection of Alexandre du Sommerard, a great lover of medieval art. Over the years, the collection has been enriched with new pieces and today presents a unique vision of the art and human history of the early 16th century.
THEATRE DE LA HUCHETTE
Don’t miss the avant-garde atmosphere of the Huchette theatre. Located on the northern side of the Luxembourg Gardens, in proximity to the Seine. The theatre gained popularity for staging for the first time the theatrical plays of Eugène Ionesco, the greatest exponent of the avant-garde theatrical movement. The place is named after the street on which it is located, rue de la Huchette, and was founded in 1948 by Georges Vitaly as a sign of the explosion of creativity and culture until then repressed during the Second World War. By February 2017, Ionesco’s two plays had been
performed more than 18,000 times, thus consecrating the Huchette theatre to hold the longest-running show’s record without programming interruptions in the world.
CAFÉ DE FLORE
172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, Francia
If you wish to rest after exploring the surroundings of the Luxembourg Gardens, Cafè de Flore is the perfect stop to enjoy magical views of Paris. Cafè de Flore is one of the oldest places in Paris, and you can easily reach it on foot going north from the Luxembourg Gardens. The Cafè opened in 1887, at the very beginning of the Third Republic, and owes its name to
the sculpture on the opposite side of the avenue, a statue of the deity Flora, goddess of spring. Known for welcoming over time some of the most prominent intellectual figures of the French capital, such as Apollinaire and Charles Maurras, since 1994 the Cafè de Flore has become the official venue of the literary prize the Prix de Flore.
19, Rue Racine, 75006 Paris, France
Right beside the Luxembourg Garden in Paris, and not far from Marie Daâge’s atelier, an unusual flower shop is settled on a little street. Stanislas Draber, “flowers, pieces of pottery, literature, terraces and gardens”. Stanislas opted for these very evocative words to actually describe his innovative flower shop. When passing by this little Parisian gem, you will see through the window shop, antiquarian books about horticulture in English and in French, Baudelaire’s Les fleurs du mal in multiple editions, clippers which belonged to the gardener of the Chateau de Versailles
and potteries from Anduze. Stanislas explains that he had always wanted to open a flower shop to only sell flowers from local suppliers, along with his favourite book, Les fleurs du mal. About season flowers he loves the idea that they evoke: nothing lasts forever, and we have to make the most of every moment, like enjoying a beautiful flower. In his shop you will not find any scotch-tape, stapler, neither plastic wrap; you walk out directly holding flowers with your hands. The quintessence of elegance and Parisian atmosphere that you will not want to miss!
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