Jardins du Carrousel et des Tuileries
© RMN-GP (mdL) / Christophe Fouin
© 2018 mdL / Antoine Mongodin
Collections & departments The Carrousel & Tuileries Gardens
The Louvre and Tuileries National Estate includes several gardens, which cover an area of 30 hectares.
In the west, the Tuileries Garden, a major historical landmark, stretches over 22.4 hectares. The 6.2-hectare Carrousel Garden lies between the wings of the Louvre. The Carrousel and Tuileries gardens are separated by the Tuileries terrace, designed, like the Pyramid, by the architect Ieoh Ming Pei. Both of these gardens are open to the public.
In the east, three small gardens surround the building: running along the rue de Rivoli is the Oratory Garden (4,500m2), and, on the Seine bankside, are the Infanta’s Garden (3,900m2) and the Raffet Garden (1,250m2). These small gardens are not open to the public.
The Carrousel and Tuileries gardens are veritable open-air sculpture museums: 20 sculptures by Aristide Maillol are on view in the Carrousel Garden, and, in the Tuileries, visitors may admire over 200 exceptional statues and vases, dating from the 17th to the 21st century. Whatever the season, this vast green space offers young and old alike countless possibilities for walks and relaxation.
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This 23-hectare garden in the center of Paris, running alongside the Seine and the Rue de Rivoli, stretching between the Musée du Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, draws some 14 million visitors every year. Since 2005, it has been managed and developed by the Louvre. Registered since 1914 as a protected French National Historical Site, it has also been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1991 as part of the “Banks of the Seine” site.
From the Middle Ages, this location was a center for tile makers and potters, hence the name Tuileries ("tuile" means tile in French).
The garden was created in the 16th century by Catherine de Médicis, widow of King Henri II, and was designed to be admired from the Palais des Tuileries that she was also having built.
Initially serving as a royal garden, in the 17th century it became one of the first Parisian gardens open to the public.
Several great landscape gardeners have worked on the garden: among them, André Le Nôtre, who redesigned it from 1664; and, in recent years, Pascal Cribier and Louis Benech, who developed the site in relation to the “Grand Louvre” project in the 1990s.
Innovation and experimentation
From its very creation, the garden’s royal owners encouraged innovation and experimentation. Henri IV had white mulberry trees planted on the Terrasse des Feuillants, essential for cultivating silkworms, an industry he wished to develop. André Le Nôtre, “great inventor” of the garden under Louis XIV, innovated by opening a line of perspective toward the future Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Over the years, the “Italian-style” garden evolved into a “French-style garden”.
It was the site of several other notable innovations, such as Jacques Charles and Noël Robert’s hydrogen-filled balloon in 1783, and the first motor show in 1898. Many artists have depicted the garden: the Impressionist painters, including Monet, captured its light and colors in a radically new way.
The Tuileries Garden’s buzzing life in the mid-19th century was a magnet for the greatest photographers. Today, still, the site continues to inspire and host work by the creative avant-garde.
Its team of gardeners is committed to protecting the environment, by recycling waste, avoiding the use of chemical weedkillers, and using insects for pest control.
© Musée du Louvre, dist. RMN - Grand Palais /
A pleasure garden and a promenade
The garden was originally intended for the exclusive use of the royal family and court. Under the reign of Louis XIV, it was opened to les honnêtes gens—“respectable” folk—as a place for strolling: it was the done thing at the time to be seen walking in the garden, as if on parade. During the French Revolution, it became accessible to all. The general public could at last enjoy the new “national” garden. Once the private domain of the royal and imperial princes, including Louis XIII and Napoléon II, it became a great playground for Parisian children from all walks of life.
Strollers in the Tuileries could also enjoy the garden as an “open-air museum.” Statues were installed in the early 18th century, initially for the pleasure of the young Louis XV. Since then, sculptures by leading artists have continued to take their place in the garden, which also hosts an outdoor section of the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) every fall.
The garden is home to a wide and varied array of plants, including more than thirty-five species of tree. In the Grand Couvert copse, they provide cool areas of shade, while flowerbeds in the Grand Carré area are filled with annuals and perennials in subtle compositions that are reworked every year.
© 2010 Musée du Louvre / Christophe Fouin
An iconic place in French history
The trappings of power have always gone on show in the garden, in the form of lavish festivities and ceremonies. In 1574, a grand reception was held in honor of the Polish envoys; in 1721, the arrival of the Turkish ambassador, Mehemet Effendi, was feted there. During the Revolution, on August 27, 1792, a memorial ceremony for the dead was staged, as was the “Fête du Salpêtre” (Saltpeter Day) on March 10, 1794. In 1810, the wedding procession of Napoléon and Marie-Louise crossed through the magnificently flag-bedecked garden. Throughout the 19th century under every political regime, the garden was the venue of numerous official festivities. During the 1900 World’s Fair, a “Mayors’ Banquet” was held, with some 22,000 mayors as guests. And before the start of World War I, monuments in honor of the Republican statesmen Jules Ferry and Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau had been erected.
The recent reconstruction in the garden of bivouacs from the Great War is part of this commemorative tradition.
© RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) /
Daniel Arnaudet / Hervé Lewandowski
To protect the soil, plants and sculptures, and to ensure safe, hygienic visiting conditions, it is forbidden to:
. ride a monocycle or two-wheeler;
. walk or sit on the lawns;
. damage or pick the plants;
. touch, hold on to or climb the sculptures;
. bring pets (except to café terraces);
. feed the birds;
. remove chairs from the garden;
. leave any object behind.
Safety and civil behavior is the responsibility of all.
The garden’s reception staff and guards are at your disposal for further information.
For all visitors (aged 11+), weekends and public holidays, April 1 to November 1.
Departure 3:30 p.m. at the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.
7:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m. (from last Sunday in September to last Saturday in March)
7 a.m.–9 p.m. (from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in September)
7 a.m.–11 p.m. (months of June, July, and August)
Line 1: Concorde, Tuileries, or Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre stops
Line 7: Pyramides or Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre stops
Line 8: Concorde stop
Line 12: Concorde stop
Line 14: Pyramides stop
Line C: Musée d’Orsay stop, then cross the L. S. Senghor footbridge
Lines 24, 48, 69, and 81
Bike stations north of the garden: 2, rue Cambon; 2, rue d’Alger; 5, rue de l’Echelle; 165, rue Saint-Honoré
Bike stations south of the garden: right (north) bank, quai Anatole-France (L. S. Senghor footbridge)