After leaving the Mucha exhibit we were just around the corner from one of my favorite Paris gardens, Les Jardins du Luxembourg.
It's on the impressive grounds of the Palace and I've never been inside. But why? It's lovely outside!
And so, too, were the gardens, still bringing out their glorious summer colors on a gloomy autumn day.
I can't tell you how cheery this bed of marigolds looked on a day when the sky was so gray!
It was clearly autumn, but nice to see the colors of summer mixed in with those glorious golden tones!
The gardens are impeccably landscaped, and different levels add to the visual interest of the gardens.
There are numerous sculptures on the grounds, as well as a bandstand and play area. (This one honored the artist Delacroix).
But our walk took us through the gardens and to the pond.
I love the pond. Seagulls are flying...
....and families are together, even on this damp day, sailing little boats.
The boat vendor wasn't doing land-office business, but I loved his little stand.
And I had to admit, they looked pretty darned cute on the water!
The palace itself was built in the 1600s as the royal residence of Marie de'Medici (King Louis XIII's mother). Well, we all know what happened a century later -- such palaces were not particularly enjoyed after the Revolution. Consequently, it became a legislative building and is the seat of the French Senate.
Perhaps my favorite part of this beautiful area is the Medici Fountain, also built by Marie de Medici. It is said that the fountain and grotto was designed by Tommaso Francii, who oversaw the waters and fountains of the king. It is built in the Italian style.
Ironically, when built, there was a great lack of water on Paris' Left Bank, a problem not solved until the aqueduct of Arcueil was built. Over time it fell into disrepair and was restored by Jean Chalgrin (architect of the Arc de Triomphe) at Napoleon's request in 1911. It was at this time that "Venus in Her Bath," a statue of white marble, was added.
The fountain was moved in the 1860s as part of Baron Haussmann's plans to add wide roads. The move changed the fountain's setting and appearance and the additional statues were added, along with comedy and tragedy masks. He replaced the statue of Venus with a group by Auguste Ottin.
These included a bronze representing the cyclops Polyphemus, son of Poseidon, discovering the lovers Acis and Galatea.
Unfortunately, Polyphemus was in love with Galatea, which did not bode well for Acis, who was killed by his rival.
Such a romantic story requires a romantic moment! We chose the Acis/Galatea moment (as opposed to the Polyphemus/Acis confrontation.)
Can you see why it's a favorite garden and fountain? Even in the rain it is simply breathtaking.
I especially love how they created these ivy swags lining the pathway to the head of the fountain.
We left the garden and headed to Rue Mouffetard, an area where there is street dancing on Sundays. But we were too late -- or it was too rainy. So, we walked up the long street...
...stopping for a snack...
...and some window shopping.
Isn't this fruit pretty?
Rick ogled a bicycle...
...and I ogled a cat in the window who reminded me of sweet Lizzie.
Our walk was at an end. But we had dinner coming and a special friend to meet up with before the evening was over!