The Sénat, in the Luxembourg Gardens, viewed from the octagonal fountain.
I’m not a fan of the Luxembourg gardens. In fact, in spite of their great location and classic style, I find them very crowded and dusty. However, this Saturday afternoon, I had second thoughts…
The light, late in the afternoon, was splendid, and the autumn leaves were the perfect frame for the Medici fountain. The atmosphere was a quiet and romantic in this secluded corner of the gardens and I felt miles away from the crowds of the central square.
The Medici Fountain on a fine autumn day.
The fountain is located near the Odéon entrance (just left of the Senate) and was originally commissioned in 1634 by Marie de Medici for her palace on the Left Bank of the Seine. Modified extensively during the years the fountain was relocated to its present spot around 1860. The central sculpture that ornates the fountain is based upon the Greek Myth “Acis and Galatea”.
The marble statue of Acis and Galatea, de Medici Fountain, detail.
According to the myth, Galatea’s jealous suitor, the Cyclops Polyphemus, killed Acis with a boulder. Galatea, devastated by the death of her lover, turned the blood of Acis into a river – the river Aci, which runs to this day near mount Etna, in Sicily.
Location: Luxembourg gardens – Medici Fountain
Best time: Early morning or evenings (check gate opening times). Avoid weekend afternoons.