Facing directly 180 degrees opposite from the Glass Pyramid, the Arc de Triomphe (yes, the famous one) is directly straight ahead, all we need to do is keep walking…. and walking… and even more walking…
…for another 45 more minutes!
It’s alright though, we love to walk anyway! Especially with the refreshingly cool winter breeze, gently brushing against our faces…
Once you turn 180 degrees from the Glass Pyramid, you will see… …the “mini-arc”!
What is this “mini-arc”, I hear you ask?
This “mini-arc” is the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, and is not to be confused with Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile (which is 45 minutes away). Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is a triumphal arch in Paris, located in the Place du Carrousel.
It actually reminds me of Sensoji Temple
back in Asakusa
. A straight road, passing under small gateways, with many things to see and do in-between, before finally reaching the main attraction – is the reason for this.
You can take a look at it in the link above here, if you’d like.
If you’ve walked this route before, you’ll know that you immediately enter the Jardin des Tuileries once you exit the Place du Carrousel.
Jardin des Tuileries
The Jardin des Tuileries is one of Paris’s most visited gardens thanks to its central location between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde. As such the Tuileries are part of a grand central axis leading from the Louvre all the way to La Défense, the city’s business district.
However, Jardin des Tuileries was more like a desert when we were there as it was completely bare, due to it being winter. Desert des Tuileries, maybe?
Palais de Tuileries
In the early 16th century the area was a clay quarry for tiles (tuilerie in French, hence the name). After the death of her husband Henri II in 1559, Catherine de Médicis had a Palace built at the tuileries, the Palais de Tuileries.
The palace featured a large garden in Italian style, reminding her of her native Tuscany.
Le Nôtre’s Design
Between 1660 and 1664 the garden was Jardin des Tuileries redesigned in French formal style by André Le Nôtre, the celebrated gardener of the Sun King, best known for his design of the gardens at the Versailles Palace. Le Nôtre built a terrace along the riverbank and opened up a central axis which he extended three years later with the creation of the Champs-Elysées.
The Jardin des Tuileries was one of the first parks to open to the public and it quickly became a place to see and be seen. Even in the 18th century the park featured amenities such as cafes, kiosks, deck chairs and public toilets.
The Palais des Tuileries, situated near the Arc du Carrousel, was razed in 1871 by the Communards, opening up the view from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe.
Most recently renovated in 1990, Le Nôtre’s formal design of the Tuileries garden has been kept intact. At the same time the park was separated from car traffic.
Many modern sculptures were added and in 1999 the Passerelle de Solférino (now the Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor), a footbridge across the Seine opened, linking the Tuileries with the Musée d’Orsay.
The Park Today
Like the Jardin du Luxembourg, Jardin des Tuileries is one of those parks where you can grab a chair for free and sit wherever you like.
Jardin des Tuileries also features several fountains, two large basins, numerous sculptures and is also home to two museums.
These two museums are the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume and the Musée de l’Orangerie. Musée de l’Orangerie, being the more popular one which displays Claude Monet’s large water lily paintings.
Those two buildings are the only remains of the original Palais de Tuileries.
The Halfway Mark
If you’ve came this far, reward yourself now!
You’ve deserved it!
Just beside the entrance (exit, in this case) is a small slope leading to raised ground which is good for photos of either direction.
Both the Lourve and the landmarks on the opposite end (in the direction of the Place de la Concorde) can be seen here, as you’re directly in the middle of them.
(That includes the Eiffel Tower.)
I call it the 50% view.
Past the gates and we’re finally out of the “desert”.
So, we walked from the Lourve Museum, under the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, the Place du Carrousel, passed the Jardin des Tuileries, crossed the road to the Place de la Concorde (which is like a concrete island or platform in the middle of a heavily congested road”.
Next, we will be taking a look at Place de la Concorde…
…stay tuned for more!
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