Arch de Triomphe, Axe historique, Champs Elysees, Haussman, historical axis, I.M. Pei, La Defense, Napoleon, No Worries Paris guidebook, Paris parks, Paris promenades, paris walks, Place Concorde, Tuileries Gardens, Tuileries history
I can’t always write about fashion and food so I’ll bore you with a little history today: Paris’s Historical Axis.
The Palace of Tuileries was commissioned by Catherine de Medici in 1564 on the site of a tile factory (hence the French name ‘Tuilerie’ deriving from ‘tuile’ – tile).
Young Louis XIV lived there, as did Napoleon Bonaparte who made the Tuileries the centre of his imperial power. It was severely damaged by a fire during the 1871 upheaval of the Paris Commune and the government resolutely cleared away the ruins in 1883. Rumor has it that it will someday be rebuilt.
If you stand in the center of the Tuileries Garden, you can try to locate ‘the spine’ of Paris: In one direction, you should be able to see all the way down the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. Still in a line beyond that lies La Defense, the Grand Arch. In the other direction is the Place du Carrousel, IM Pei’s pyramid in the Louvre courtyard and much farther away (and not to be seen from ground level), the Bastille (demolished during the French revolution). The July Column takes its place.
Now you can slump in one of those free chairs, relax and fantasize about what transpired exactly where you’re sitting ….. or just doze off.