Palais du Luxembourg

Palais du Luxembourg

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

Palais du Luxembourg garden

Marie de Medici acquired in 1611 the François de Luxembourg Mansion on Rue de Vaugirard together with its large grounds outside the town walls, neighboring a Carthusian convent.

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 architect.


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.

Palais du Luxembourg arcade

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 dedicated 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 entrances 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 to the public, except during the French Senate meeting days.

Opening days

Palais du Luxembourg interior

The Palace: Monday, Friday, and Saturday between 10,30 – 14, 30

Group reservations: or by email.

The palace is open for individual visits one Saturday a month – Details and booking at 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)

Contact details:

For more information about opening hours and visiting contact the French Senate by email or visit the official website.

Palais du Luxembourg Location

Palais du Luxembourg Address: Senate of France 15 Rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris, France.

Palais du Luxembourg aerial view

Get help with directions using the map provided below:

Palais du Luxembourg Map

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