The Palais du Luxembourg is currently the seat of the French
Senate and it lies in the capital city of Paris.
Palais du Luxembourg History
Marie de’ Medici acquired in 1611 the François de Luxembourg Mansion on
Rue de Vaugirard together with its large grounds outside the town walls, neighbouring a Carthusian
By October 1611 she was planning to have a new residence built on the site and
asked her aunt, the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, for the ground-plan and elevations of the Palazzo
Pitti in Florence to serve for the structure of the new palace.
After she sent Louis Métezeau to Florence, Salomon de Brosse, whom she had
already employed to complete her château at Monceaux-en-Brie, won a competition to become the
Some additional land having been acquired, the first stone of the new palace was
laid in April 1615; the new building was erected close beside the older Luxembourg Mansion, which
became known as the petit Luxembourg.
The ground-plan of the Palais du Luxembourg was laid out like
that of a suburban château and was reminiscent not so much of the Palazzo Pitti as of the châteaux of Verneuil or
Coulommiers: it had a quadrilateral layout around a rectangular courtyard with the main
building and a central staircase at the bottom of the courtyard, large pavilions built out from
the corners and a terraced portico and a domed entry on the street.
The elevation, on the other hand, did recall the Palazzo Pitti.
Even before the east wing and the entrance were completed, Marie de’ Medici
commissioned Rubens to execute a number of canvases to decorate the two matching galleries that
were to counterpoint one another on either side of the courtyard.
Rubens executed the first suite of paintings, devoted to the Life of Marie de’
Medici, but produced only a few sketches for the works intended for the second gallery, which were
to be devoted to the Life of Henry IV. Work on decoration was interrupted by the Queen’s exile to
Brussels in 1630.
In 1646 the Palais du Luxembourg fell into the ownership of
Gaston d’Orléans, who had apparently been living there since 1643.
It was then occupied by various members of the Orléans family; the words Palais
d’Orléans could be read on a marble plaque over the door until the Revolution. In 1799 the palace
was assigned to the Senate.
The arcades of the porticos were closed down and the central staircase was
demolished so that the Senate chamber was placed in its place.
Palais du Luxembourg - Visitor Information
Luxembourg Palace is open for the public, except during the French Senate
The Palace: Monday, Friday and Saturday between 10,30 - 14, 30
Group reservations: 01.42.34.20.60 or by email.
The palace is open for individual visits one Saturday a month -
Details and booking at 01.44.54.19.49 or by email
The Luxembourg Gardens are open to the public all year around between 7,30 /
8,15 and 16,45 / 21,45 (summer / winter)
For more information about opening hours and visiting contact the French
Senate by email firstname.lastname@example.org or
visit the oficial website.
Palais du Luxembourg Map
Palais du Luxembourg Address: Senate of France 15 Rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris, France.
Get help with directions using the map provided bellow:
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