Palais des Tuileries
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The origins of the Palais and its gardens go back to the sixteenth century. In 1564 Catherine de Médicis, the Queen Mother, decided to build herself a residence that would be independent of the Louvre while at the same time reasonably close to it. She selected for the site a wasteland to the west of the Louvre, between the Seine and the road leading to Saint-Germain-en-Laye (the present rue Saint-Honoré). The Palais des Tuileries was joined to the Louvre on the southern side by the Galerie du Louvre. After a number of modifications, the palace, started by Catherine de Médicis, was eventually completed by Henri IV and Louis XIII.
Simultaneously with the inception of the Tuileries palace, Catherine de Médicis ordered the laying out of gardens to the west. For a century from 1564 till 1664 the gardens and the palace were separated by a high wall and a small and dirty street, called the rue des Tuileries, which led to the river (its site is now occupied by the avenue du Général-Lemonnier). In 1664 Colbert asked André Le Nôtre to replace the gardens of Queen Catherine with gardens that would be worthy of the Palais des Tuileries. He removed the small street and in its place constructed broad stairs which formed a terrace, and opened up onto an esplanade from which it was possible to take in at a glance the whole of the palace.
The end of the Tuileries came in 1871. On March 26, 1871, the Paris Commune was proclaimed and the looting of the Tuileries began. On 23 May the palace was set on fire by members of the Commune; the fire raged for three days, at the end of which the palace was all but destroyed. Some fragments of the building did, however, survive; the Pozzo Di Borgo family bought the stones and used them to build a château in Corsica, near Ajaccio, in 1891.
After his election to the Institut de France in 1856, Berlioz (with his second wife Marie) regularly went to the Emperor’s monthly parties to which members of the Institute were invited.
We are grateful to Monsieur Patrick Barois and Monsieur Hervé Muraccioli for additional information regarding the Palais des Tuileries and the Jardin des Tuileries. This information has been incorporated in this page.
Unless otherwise specified, all the modern photographs reproduced on this page were taken by Michel
Austin; other pictures have been scanned from engravings and books in our
own collection. © Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin. All rights of reproduction reserved.
The Jardin des Tuileries today
A panoramic view of the Jardin des Tuileries
The Palais des Tuileries before the 1798 Revolution
The original copy of this painting by N Raguenet is in the
Carnavalet Museum, Paris.
The Palais des Tuileries around 1830
The Jardin des Tuileries around 1830
The two engravings above have been scanned from A. Pugin’s book Paris and its Environs, published in London in
The Jardin des Tuileries in 1834
This engraving dates from 1834.
The Jardin des Tuileries in 1836
This engraving dates from 1836.
The Jardin des Tuileries in 1837
This engraving is by Rouargue dated 1837.
The Palais des Tuileries – view from Place du Carrousel
This hand-coloured 19th century lithograph is by Fichot.
The Palais des Tuileries
This 19th century engraving is by Thomas Allom.
The Palais des Tuileries (on the garden side) around 1868
A copy of this photograph is in the Bibliothèque nationale de
The Palais des Tuileries before destruction
A party at the Tuileries c. 1865
This is a reproduction of a contemporary engraving.
The Palais des Tuileries – before
The Gallery of Diana
The ruins of the Palais des Tuileries
The above three photographs have been scanned from John L. Stoddards Lectures, Volume V – Paris La Belle France and Spain, by John L. Stoddard (Balch Brothers, 1898).
© (unless otherwise stated) Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin for all the pictures and information on this page.
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