Flâneries in Paris: Explore the Jardin des Plantes and Environs

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Flâneries in Paris: Explore the Jardin des Plantes and Environs
This is the sixth in a series of walking tours highlighting the sites and stories of diverse districts of Paris. A spot of lunch at the Brasserie d’Austerlitz, just near exit 2 of the Gare d’Austerlitz metro station, was a colorful start to my explorations.  The bright greens, yellows and reds of the salad, offset by glistening little black olives, sliced egg and tuna, brought – of course! – with a bread basket and jug of water, was so pretty I felt I had to photograph it. And from the sunny pavement terrace, I could already see the entrance gates to my first destination on a walk I’d planned to include two delightful gardens and some 1st-century ruins.  The Place Valhubert entrance to the Jardin des Plantes was a mere minute walk away. Jardin des plantes à Paris. Credit: besopha at Flickr The main gardens are free to enter, thus easy to include on any walking route in this area. This time I made my way down the first avenue on the left from the entrance, enjoying the magnificence of the formal layout in front of me, beds and paths with hothouses and imposing museum buildings along the edges. Another day, I will explore the Galerie de Botanique or the Galérie de Paléontologie, but this time I just wanted to wander and enjoy. I was there just as the two enormous cherry trees were blossoming, their frothy cascades of pink and white flowers stopping visitors in their tracks. Each season brings new delights: in June, for instance, 170 different types of roses will be in full bloom in the rose garden. Second floor of Galerie de paléontologie, MOSSOT at Wikimedia Commons Along the path I chose were separate beds for “useful” plants, aromatic and those used in cooking or for the production of dyes, everything carefully explained on nearby information boards. It’s a reminder that the Jardin des Plantes was originally created in 1640 by Louis XIII, whose doctors wanted to research the medicinal qualities of plants. The scientific element has been there ever since, and after the French Revolution, this Jardin royal became instead a Jardin national, and the museums and a zoo were gradually added. Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie, Besopha at Flickr
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Lead photo credit : Jardin des Plantes, Celine Harrand at Wikimedia Commons

More in Arènes de Lutèce., Flânerie, Galerie de Botanique, Galérie de Paléontologie, Grande Mosquée de Paris, jardin des plantes

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Recently retired from teaching Modern Languages (French and German), Marian now has time to develop her interests in travel and European culture and history. She will be in Paris as often as she can, visiting places old and new, finding out their stories and writing it all up as soon as she gets home. Marian also runs the weekly podcast series, City Breaks, offering in-depth coverage of popular city break destinations, with lots of background history and cultural information. She has covered Paris in 22 episodes but looks forward to updating the series every now and then with some Paris Extra episodes.