A haven in the center of Paris
At the heart of Paris, opposite the Louvre, is the Domaine National du Palais-Royal with its beautiful garden. The area covers just over 2 hectares. It was built in 1622 by Jacques Lemercier at the request of Cardinal de Richelieu. Completely rebuilt in 1781, galleries were erected around the perimeter of the garden and sold to traders.
The place now houses some venerable institutions of the Republic : the State Council (in the old palace), the Constitutional Council and the Ministry of Culture (in the appendices). Its gardens, enclosed by old style Parisian buildings with perfectly restored facades, are a haven of peace. Colette (19thC) and Cocteau (20thC), 2 french famous writers, elected domicile there. The green square is shaded by four double rows of lime trees (466 trees in total) cut in « marquise style ». Planted in 1970, these lime trees are replacing old elms who died due to the disease that has decimated this species.
The sculptor Buren installed in the courtyard, in 1985-1986, a collection of black and white columns surrounded by a wire netting on the ground, under which water flows. This court also includes fountains adorned with stainless steel balls, sculptures by Pol Bury.
This is one of the favorite places for strolling Parisians and tourists. The French-Comedy, theater of the Palais Royal and the restaurant of the Grand Vefour, which is classified historic monument, contribute to its reputation.
It is today a perfect mix between old traditional Parisian buildings and contemporary art , where Parisians and tourists like strolling or just take a seat and enjoy the time passing. It is of course a little bit less charming in winter as the trees have no leaves at all, but nevertheless it remains a haven in a very active and modern city.