I love hanging out in Paris, but I always end up in the same places. When you have habits it's hard to get away from them, but after my hundredth afternoon break with a friend in the Jardin des Tuileries a few weeks ago, I decided it was a bit stupid to stick to the same areas all the time and that I should explore new surroundings. All this took me to the hidden gardens of the Palais Royal, in the 1st arrondissement. This area of Paris is super touristy because the Louvre and the neverending Rue de Rivoli (aka the ultimate shopper's dream) are nearby, and so are tourists who know about the Jardins du Palais Royal. Most people have already seen pictures of the black and white striped Columns of Buren (there are 260 of them, see photo above), and this is the most famous feature of this area I think. I'd never seen them in real life before I went to take these photos, and surprisingly I find that the columns look really nice in the whole 'solemn buildings' landscape and add a touch of modern art without destroying the beauty of the place.
This blog post is going to be all about the surroundings of the Palais Royal; what you can see there if you're visiting Paris. I loved walking around to snap these shots, it is a super posh area so literally every little thing is more beautiful than everywhere else haha. Just see for yourself:
The Jardin du Palais Royal
|'The sea is your mirror, you are contemplating your soul.'|
First, I have to say a few words about the gardens themselves. They are hidden behind the beautiful Palais Royal, a baroque building dating to the 17th century. While the palace itself is used for instances of the government and not opened to visitors, the gardens are open every day and anybody can go there for a walk, to read a book sitting in one of the typical green chairs or lie on a bench to enjoy the rays of sunshine. Because the gardens are smaller than the usual Parisian park like the Tuileries or the Luxembourg, fewer people go there so these gardens are more peaceful and quiet.
The Galerie Vivienne
If you're wondering, yes, these photos were taken in the 21st century. Hard to believe it when you see this beautiful, old-fashioned setting! The Galerie Vivienne is one of those spots in Paris where it seems time has stopped. Galeries were very fashionable in the 19th century, full of little shops and a perfect shelter from the Parisian rain. Today, art galleries and fashion boutiques have replaced wine merchants, tailors and shoemakers. The most impressive shop in there is the old bookshop and its amazing display. I'd love to get myself a few of these books, if you've seen my Room Tour post you'll know that I love collecting these old volumes.
The inside of the Galerie is just a wonder, with beautiful mosaics covering the ground and embossed sculptures on the arcades and the walls. The decor was inspired by Pompeian ornamentation, which was quite fashionable in the 19th century - you can see it from the carvings depicting women in togas, with wreath in their hands as if celebrating the gods and floating on the yellow stone beneath the dome.
If you want to see more of Parisian passages and galleries, be sure to check out this previous post featuring a few photos of these beautiful places. The Galerie Vivienne is by far the most beautiful I've seen, and I would recommend you to go there if you're around the Louvre area. Just a quick visit, but this is definitely something you won't see every day!
What do you think of this area of Paris? Have you ever visited it?