Luxembourg, the French capital’s oasis

The Jardins du Luxembourg are owned and run by the French senate

Jane Hanks examines the remarkable history and modern day allure of the most celebrated public garden in Paris

Le Jardin du Luxembourg, in the centre of Paris on the border between Saint-Germain-des-Près and the Latin Quarter, is worth visiting not only as a green park to stroll through to escape the noise of the city, but also as a garden with many horticultural treasures.

It also has a rich history which reflects the story of Paris, and it is at the heart of French culture, favoured by many of its most illustrious writers and philosophers such as Baudelaire, Victor Hugo, Verlaine, Balzac, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir and painted by the greats such as Rousseau and Van Gogh.

Benoît Priel, technical director of the gardens, says they are recognised as the most beautiful gardens in Paris: “They are very varied with parts which are in the classic French style and areas planted à l’anglaise. There are important collections including  a greenhouse with tropical orchids, an orchard with 600 varieties of apples and ...

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