The road was created in 1860 under the impetus of the changes being brought about by the Prefect of Paris, Haussmann. Here it involved moving the fountain ordered by Marie de Médicis by 30 metres and restricting the size of the Luxembourg Garden on the east.
The Italian Renaissance style fountain was built on the instructions of Marie de Médicis, the widow of King Henri IV and regent of King Louis XIII in 1630. The problem of a lack of water on the Left Bank of Paris to feed it was solved by the building of the acqueduct of Arcueil, which then enabled the expansion of Paris to the South to take off.
The decaying grotto was restored on the instructions of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1811 and then rebuilt in 1864. At the back of the Médicis fountain is the Fontaine de Léda, a fountain scuplted in 1809 and depicting the story of Leda and the swan.