Palais du Luxembourg

Palais du Luxembourg (42)

The capricious Maria de Médicis left her mark all over Paris. One of the buildings that was built under her auspices was the Luxembourg Palace and its gardens. The queen was tired of living in the Louvre and above all, of the royal intrigues that were more common than the monarch could stand. Fed up with French life she decided to recall the Tuscany of her birth by building an Italian-style palace. To do this she bought some land which at the time was outside the limits of the city of Paris.

The land was bought in 1612 and it included the small palace of the duke called François of Luxembourg. The new palace would carry the name of "Médicis Palace". This name did not catch on, however, or any of the names that later owners gave the building. The palace was always known by the name of its first owner.

María de Médicis called on the architect Salomon de Brosse to design the palace. The idea was that the style would be the same as the Pitti Palace in Florence. The first step was to demolish the house that she had just bought to be replaced by the new palace. The gardens needed more space so she had other properties razed, previously paying the owners. By the time the palace was completed in 1631, María de Médicis had already been exiled.

It was owned by several people until the Revolution. It was then confiscated and declared a national asset. During the period of Terror it was used as a prison and in the Second World War was the barracks for the German air force.  

In the 19th century diverse restoration works were carried out on it so that it could become the headquarters of the Senate. Since then and until now the palace’s function has continued being the same. 

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