November 09, 2007

Medicis Fountain

When visiting the Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) everybody may not necessarily pay attention to the Medicis Fountain (La Fontaine de Médicis) which you can find in one of the corners of the Gardens.

The fountain is named after Marie de Médicis (Maria de’Medici) who was married to Henry IV, widow in 1610, mother and regent to Louis XIII (and grandmother to Louis XIV) and also mother to a Spanish and an English Queen. Involved in different intrigues she was exiled in 1630 and died in Cologne in 1642.

Marie decided to create her own “Medici Palace”, which thus is the today’s Luxembourg Palace, slightly modified since. She could move in around 1625, but for a rather short period as she had to leave France five years later. The palace was of course magnificent and included e.g. 24 Rubens paintings (now at the Louvre). After different uses (prison during the Revolution, Luftwaffe headquarters during World War II…), it’s today the house of the French Senate, but the gardens, the biggest in Paris, are open for public and there is much to see and do. I may revert to this another day.

The Fountain was obviously just ready when Marie had to leave. It was modeled on what she had known during her childhood in Florence. It had to be slightly moved when the adjacent street was widened by Haussmann. At the same time, in 1862, the statue group you can see in the centre was added.
You can find some of these photos on my photo blog.

Time to again wish you a nice weekend! Back with a new post on Monday!


isabella said...

Luxembourg Gardens - by far, my favorite Parisian spot! There is just so much going on there at any given time: people practicing Tai-Chi or playing pétanque, the busy bees from the apiary, pollinating the little orchard, summer concerts and open-air operas..I could go on and on.

And do they still have those mind blowing photography exhibits on the wrought iron fence of the Garden?

GMG said...

Thanks Peter for the info on the Galliera Museum. I've already added it to the post. I'll come back during the weekend to see everything better. Too late now, and still a Friday with lots to do and a conference to prepare during the weekend...

ruth said...

I'll always picture this fountain with the woman's face sculpture by Lotta Hannerz, from Sweden,
that was lying in the water last year. EEeeek! It was freaky, and cool!

Annie said...

I hope Marie wasn't "house proud", as they say in the United States, or leaving her home would have been her undoing.

Sonia said...

I am always enchanted with your posts, Peter! Beautiful photos and much culture's issues! You are very luck for live in Paris!

I am glad you like the wild duck's videos. A dog barking in the background is not my dog Flora, as Naomi asked to me. It was a dog of another person excited with the noise of the ducks.

Shionge said...

Hey so near to Notre Dame :) I must have missed it when I was's okay thanks to you Peter.

have a wonderful weekend.

Azer Mantessa said...

Luxembourg Palace - Grand and classy.

alice said...

Les jardins du Luxembourg doivent être splendides en ce moment, comme il n'a pas plu depuis des semaines et que le vent reste tranquille, on profite des feuillages d'automne bien plus longtemps que d'habitude.
La dernière fois que je suis passée devant la fontaine, un énorme nez flottait sur l'eau...As-tu vu cette sculpture?

Peter said...

No specific exhibition ongoing, at least as far as I could see this week. I understand why you like this garden so much and agree!

Go on working (poor you)!

No, it's gone! No specific scultpure exhibition at the moment, but there are anyhow tens and tens of sculptures - permanent - as you know!

Peter said...

I guess she wasn't too happy to be forced to leave this "house"!

Yes, I'm lucky!

I have a feeling that you must come back to Paris for a closer visit!

Peter said...

Yes, very "classy"!

Oui, bo d'arbres on encores ses feuilles, mais pas toutes! Oui, j'ai vu la sculpture, mais elle n'est plus là.

Olivier said...

Vraiment ce jardin est magnifique, et que dire de cette fontaine. de plus il y a souvent des expositions dans le jardin (merci au senat) assez surprenante. Un de mes endroits preferes de Paris.
Bon Weekend

hpy said...

Juste un coucou en vitesse - je reviendrai plus tard.

Ash said...

Interesting history and images. Have a nice weekend Peter!

Cergie said...

J'adore ce jardin aussi, je dois aller à l'expo Arcimboldo un de ces 4. Les locaux du musée st exigus et pas faits pour de grdes expos je trouve. Le lycée ST Louis est juste à coté c'est là que mon plus jeune fils a fait ses classes prépas
Tu as déniché encore une merveille de ce jardin qui en est plein. Si tu permets, je te mets un lien vers le message que j'ai fait dessus où je parle du diable Vauvert, c'était là.
Mon message était au printemps, le jardin n'était pas doré. Cependt le vert kaki des chaises doit bien aller aussi à l'automne

Tu as déjà parlé de la petite statue de Miss Libery une fois, non ?

alice said...

Ca ne doit pas être mal d'être sénateur...

MONA said...

What an interesting piece of Information. I have learnt a lot of History from you! :)

The fountain & the statues are so beautiful & so is the Palace & the gardens!

Peter said...

On se verra peut-être dans le jardin un jour! Bon week-end à toi aussi!


Thanks and a nice weekend also to you!

Chuckeroon said...

ah, yes! The Medici ladies. I did a lot of work on the political skills of Catherine de M.

BTW....regarding the previous post; I was strongly focused on the wood work. If you hadn't actually mentioned the stone work I would never have noticed.

hpy said...

Bon, la journée n'est pas finie, j'attends encore le vérificateur des extincteurs qui est en retard. Deux fois pour être exact, car il aurait du venir déjà en octobre, et puis il y a une demi heure! Journée harassante avec plein de problèmes. Vivement le WE. J'aimerais bien faire un tour au Jardin du Lux, mais je crois que je vais commencer par dormir. Dès que les extincteurs ont été vérifiés je ferme boutique. Mais il n'est pas encorê là! J'attandrai, le jour et la nuit j'attendrai toujours... Bon, je lui passe un coup de fil, et si il n est pas là dans cinq minutes un coup sur la tête aussi.

Jessica Camis said...

Absolutely stunning. I also missed this when I visited and I see what a mistake that was! Thanks for the history lesson. Have a great weekend.

hpy said...

Tiens! Le vérificateur est arrivé. T'ai-je dit qu'il existe un hpy ter?

Peter said...

Merci pour le lien. J'ai tou lu sur "p�ter"!! Merci encore!
Oui, j'ai d�j� parl� de Mlle Liberty!

Oui, ils sont assez bien log�s!

Good that you could learn something from ME; normally it's the contrary!

Peter said...

So what were your conclusions about Catherine, the St.Bartholomew's Day massacre and the rest?

Ma conclusion est que tu n'as pas vu la fontaine - encore? Si, quand-même?

One more reason to come back here!

hpy (again):
I was a bit absent today, so I missed it, but now I have visited. ... and for when a fourth blog?

JoAnn - NL "My digital eyes" :) said...

Great peter!
Also on our list, you information (and your photography!!) are great:)

BTW;) we/I leave for next week to paris for my birthday ,and our 20th anniversary, I left a slideshow from my last nature-works, Leaving-leaves, please take a look,

Miss you , or who know wave at you? JoAnn :)

Peter said...

I will look!
Hope to hear from you while you are in Paris!

lasiate said...

très belle photo de la fontaine médicis

April said...

Have a nice weekend, Peter. Here it is very bad weather, so it's computer time for me.
Thanks for the information about Maria de Medici. Do you know that her heart is buried in Cologne Cathedral, behind the shrine of the Three Magi?

To answer your question. No, I don't ususally work on Saturdays, only two times a year. It is a kind of 'day of the open door' where I have to be.

GMG said...

Now, Luxembourg Garden is a great place. First, is a wonderful garden; Second, close to the Boul Mich; Third, has a beautiful Palace; Fourt, a nice Museum, where I saw the Phillips Collection during my last visit to Paris; and finally, just some minutes walk up Boul Mich, La Closerie des Lilas... What a treat!
Ah, and Rue Fortuny, even without Nespresso, is an amazing architecture show...
Bon week-end!

Peter said...


Thanks for the info about the heart: I did not know. (I learn a lot by blogging.)

One reason for going to Luxembourg last week was an expo of Arcimboldo, but I gave up in front of the queue..., so I took some photos in the park instead.

USAincognito said...

Absolutely love the first photo!!!! :)

Kate said...

Oh, to be rich and famous. I wonder what I would commission if I had the resources to do so. And, I wonder what other bloggers would, if they could?

Ming the Merciless said...

Have a great weekend too.

You photos make me wish I live in Paris.

Drama Div@ said...

lovely.. well this place is a work of art indeed...

p/s: i can see that you didnt take any picture of the Statue of Liberty...

Drama Div@ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Virginia said...

Two years later I have stopped by to see these grand photos of the gardens. Thanks for the preview Peter for our upcoming trip. I think we will spend many hours last!!!HA

Peter said...

Two years later! The only comment on this blog since I don't know when!