The beauty of the Tuileries Garden
As a patron of the arts, Le Meurice has always had a close relationship with the Louvre. We’re proud to be part of their #ObjectifTuileries campaign, which is working to help preserve the historic beauty of Tuileries Garden.
Looking after the garden
Yann Le Touher, head of development for the Louvre, and head gardener Floriane Guihaire, work together to preserve the joy and delight of the Tuileries Garden.
Situated right in front of Le Meurice and the Louvre, the garden offers a wonderful sense of serenity. Both men are advocates of the #ObjectifTuileries campaign to renovate the Grande Allée, with the planting of two rows of elm trees.
The goal is to reestablish the layout of the 17th-century garden, thereby spotlighting the grand historical axis of Paris and providing more shade and biodiversity for its many visitors to enjoy.
Can you share some history of the garden?
FG: The Tuileries Garden was originally designed in 1564 for Catherine de’ Medici to admire from the comfort of the Tuileries Palace. The garden was named after a tile factory located in the grounds, which was removed to make way for the new palace and garden. During its creation the design adopted a strong Italian Renaissance style.
In 1664, André Le Nôtre redesigned the garden for Louis XIV after its destruction due to the severe flooding of the Seine. Le Nôtre created a French-style garden, a legacy that is still present in the Tuileries today.
In the 1990s, the garden was redeveloped as part the Grand Louvre project by two landscape gardeners, Pascal Cribier and Louis Benech, and became the garden that we know and love today.
What traditions do you admire about the gardens?
YLT: The Tuileries Garden was Paris’s first public garden. Since the 19th century it’s hosted many activities for children. It’s always a pleasure to watch them play around the pool with the garden’s traditional sailing boats.
FG: Our gardeners are artists who follow ancestral expertise. Some of their practices, such as topiary, are based on knowledge passed down from generation to generation.
Any favourite ways to enjoy the seasons?
YLT: I enjoy settling down on a terrace with a hot chocolate in the autumn to admire the rich colours of the trees as they change with the season.
FG: I recommend going to the garden on a sunny day at any time of year. My favourite hours are sunrise and sunset because you get the most the incredible light and wonderful reflections on the trees.
Where is your favourite place in the Tuileries Garden?
FG: The Great Square, with its beautiful flowerbeds by day and a lovely place to watch the stars by night. I also adore the area around Giuseppe Penone’s bronze ‘Vowel Tree’, which is a quieter and less formal space to enjoy.
What’s your favourite view?
YLT: From the large central basin, looking towards the Louvre, you can see a beautiful garden and a spectacular building in one extraordinary view. I also recommend standing at the top of the staircase of the former Tuileries Palace to admire the interesting perspective from the Grande Allée, stretching down to the famous obelisk at the Place de la Concorde, along the Champs-Elysées, all the way to the Arc de Triomphe.
What’s your approach to matching art and garden?
YLT: The Tuileries Garden is an open-air museum where visitors can admire over 200 exceptional sculptures, ranging from 17th-century royal collections to contemporary art. It’s a real must-see!
FG: Each season, the gardening team designs the Tuileries’ flowerbeds according to an ongoing exhibition at the Louvre. We usually base our process on a specific artwork within the exhibition, depending on how it feels and the colour palette.
Describe the Tuileries Garden in three words?
YLT: Floral, royal and family-friendly.
FG: Majestic, secret and vegetal.
What’s your favourite moment of day?
YLT: Enjoying a morning cup of coffee and watching busy Parisians walk across the Tuileries’ main pathways, whilst thinking about its four centuries of incredibly history.
FG: Any time it goes quiet because with few people around you feel like you’re alone with this incredible beauty all around you.
More like this
View the latest issue of Collect, our bi-annual magazine featuring a curated mix of culture, art and lifestyle, together with the latest news from Dorchester Collection hotels.Discover more