Garden of the Royal Palace, Paris, Ile-de-France, France

The Royal Palace Garden is a perfect spot to sit, contemplate and picnic between boxed hedges, or shop in the trio of beautiful arcades that frame the garden: the Gallery of Valois (east) Gallery Montpensier (west) and Beaujolais Gallery (north).

However, it’s the southern end of the complex, polka-dotted with Daniel Buren’s sculptor’s 260 black-and-white striped columns, which has become the garden’s signature feature.

This elegant urban space is fronted by the neoclassical Royal Palace (closed to the public), built in 1633 by Cardinal Richelieu but mostly dating to the late 18th century. Louis XIV hung out here in the 1640s; today it is home to the State Council.

The Valois Gallery is the most upmarket arcade with designer boutiques like Stella McCartney and Pierre Hardy. Across the garden, in the Montpensier Gallery, the Revolution broke out on a warm mid-July day, just three years after the galleries opened, in the Café du Foy. The third arcade, tiny Galerie Beaujolais, is crossed by Passage du Perron, a passageway above which the writer Colette (1873-1954) lived out the last dozen years of her life.

 

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