Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Remnants of the Past

These crumbling stone arches are virtually all that is left in Paris of the Palais de Tuileries, built by Catherine de Medici after the death of her husband French king Henri II in the mid 1500s. It was a royal residence for Louis XIV and Louis XV, and it's where the Paris mob brought Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette after forcing them to leave Versailles in 1789. Later it was the home of Napoleon and Josephine, and under the Second Empire, Napoleon III. It was finally burnt to the ground during the 1871 civil war known as the Commune, one of the darkest hours in French history.

The building stood in what are still today the Tuileries Gardens, closing off the big open U created by the Louvre. (While the Orangerie and Jeu de Paume, today among Paris's best loved small museums, were a part of the palace complex, these arches are from the palace itself.) Since 2003, there has been a movement afoot to rebuild it. Perhaps that effort will go somewhere, perhaps not. In the meantime, you can find these remnants of the past in the Trocadero Gardens, well west of where they originally stood. If you stand with your back to the Eiffel Tower, walk to the left of the fountain, and you'll find these, still smoke scarred, amid the grottos and greenery that flank the south side of the park.


David said...

"the Commune, one of the darkest hours in French history"

What part of it what the "darkest hours" according to you?
Just curious.

debbie in toronto said...

interesting that the smoke marks are still there...thanks the history

Harriet said...

I had assumed that nothing was left of le Palais de Tuileries. Thanks for the info and the photos.

Jessica said...

Oh wow, i had wondered why out of everything I'd read to visit in Paris, nobody ever mentioned it.

Belle de Ville said...

Interesting monument, considering its long history.
We don't need the Commune for darkness, we can go all the way back to Catherine de Medici and her bloody St. Bartholomew's Day massacre.

Starman said...

I don't think it will ever be re-built. It would be far too costly.

Brantigny said...

Very good thanks, I ahve added a link,

It was one of the darkest days, not to be repeated.


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