Jardin des Tuileries

Arrondissement 1

Tuileries Palace in 1615
The Tuileries Garden shown in the foreground of this 1615 map. The Salle de Menage whose location today is on the Rue Rivoli is at the bottom left.

Like the Tuileries Palace (built in 1564) the garden was named after the tile-making factories that were established there in 1372 next to the 15-20 (300-bed) Quinze-Vingt hospice on the Rue Saint-Honoré. Its blind pensioners’ principal job was to pray for the souls of the donating royals.

The Tuileries Palace photographed in 1850 from the courtyard of the Louvre before it was burnt down in 1871 and the ruins removed in 1883. The Arc du Carrousel (1808) is in front of it and the Arc du Triomphe in the distance

Paris’ oldest and largest garden was established by Catherine de Médicis after she had ordered the building of the Tuileries Palace. Redesigned by André Le Nôtre in 1664 it was opened to ‘good people’ by Louis XIV.

Effectively abandoned by Louis XIV for Versailles from 1672, the Palace was used only briefly by Louis XV from 1716 to 1722, so much of the garden has been used as a public space for over 350 years.

On Sunday July 12 1789 Paris learned that Louis XVI had dismissed his finance minister, the constitutional monarchist banker Jacques Necker. Within hours the king’s Swiss Guard were ordered to disperse a demonstration in the Tuileries Garden.

The storming of the Bastille is triggered by the charge of the dragoons on people in the Tuileries Garden, painted here in 1789-1790 by Jean-Baptiste Lallemand

The grand basin in the Garden was the setting for Robespierre to torch a floating monster called Atheism on June 8 1794 to reveal the statue of Wisdom at the start of the Festival of the Supreme Being. During the French Revolution the Garden was called ‘The National Garden’.

Before his coup d’ État overthrowing the Directorate on November 9 1799 (18 Brumaire an 8) Napoléon Bonaparte bivouacked his troops in the garden. This was also where the Austrian and Russian occupying troops set up their encampment in 1814.

Beneath the South side of the garden running parallel to the Seine, what is now the Terrasse du Bord de l’Eau, there were tunnels beneath the Palace. This was where prisoners were murdered both during the suppression of the June 24 1848 uprising and again after Louis Napoléon’s coup d’ État of December 4 1851.

On May 15 1871 during the Paris Commune a battalion of 2,000 armed women paraded through the garden.

On May 23 1871 the Communards carried out the threat they had made to set fire to several historic buildings in Paris if the Versaillais troops continued their advance. 12 men set the Tuileries Palace, Napoléon III’s Paris base and the location for the National Convention in 1793, on fire. Using petroleum and liquid tar it didn’t take long to burn down. The Flore pavilion on the right partly survived and is now a part of the Louvre museum. The remains of the Palace were finally removed in 1882.

Several defenders of the Commune were then killed on the Terrace next to the river on May 24.

During the Second World War the Jeu de Paume museum was used by the Germans as a storage depot for seized artworks. Between November 1940 and November 1942 Göring visited the museum 20 times to pick and choose paintings. On July 29 1943 the Germans burnt around 600 paintings seized from Jewish families on the Tuileries terrace.

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