Luxembourg Palace

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The Luxemburg Palace is a beautiful building situated in even more beautiful gardens in the centre of Paris, on the left bank of Seine, near Sorbonne University.

Throughout it existence its purpose has been changed many times. It has been the centre of French Directory during the Revolution; as well as the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte when he was First Consul in France. During the World War II the building served as the headquarters of Luftwaffe in France. In 1946 the Palace was used for the Paris Peace Conference. Currently it houses the French Senate.

It was originally built for Marie de Medicis (mother of the king Luis XIII) in the years 1615 – 1627. However she was banished by the time the Palace was finished and her granddaughter, Anne Duchess of Montpensier inherited it. The building was built on the site of previous palace (or town hall) belonging to the duke of Piney – Luxembourg (there is where it has name from). The architect became Salomon de Brosse and he decided to design it in a Renaissance Florentine style. The Palace was enlarged and remodeled in 19th century. In 1836 – 1841 Alphonse de Gisors gave the gardens new façade.

As far as the interior decoration was concerned, many famous artists were commissioned to decorate it. While Rubens paintings adorned the walls of the large gallery (24 panel-paintings are now in the Louvre), there are works of Nicolas Poussin, Philippe de Champaigne and masterpieces of Eugene Delacroix can be seen in the library (they were added in 19th century).

The Luxembourg Gardens is a large public park (224 500 square metres) with sprawling lawns and abundant flowers. Paths are lined with statues of many queens of France, including a figure of Saint Genevieve, the patron of Paris. There are little ponds, where are children used to play with miniature boats. In the southwest corner, there are apple and pear trees and the puppet theater (Théâtre des marionettes).
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