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  • stephenjrountree

Americans who have strolled the Tuileries and Palais-Royal before you…

According to David McCullough’s book—The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.

If you’re interested in a reading which dives a bit deeper into the Louvre, the Tuileries Garden, and the Palais Royal, the celebrated center of cafes, where the modern restaurant had originated in the eighteenth century. David McCullough’s book, “The Greater Journey: Americans In Paris” will scuba dive you down to those depths. It wasn’t always so serene, like when it was an artillery park when the Germans surrounded Paris in 1870 and trapped 2 million people inside – when Parisians resorted to eating rats and sparrows, but for now it is, and, after all, we’re not the first ones to have the idea to stroll the Tuileries gardens before or after a trip to the Louvre and its great paintings.

A few fellow strollers that David mentions are:

Catherine de Medici – the queen of kings built her home here, and basically, she owned a plot of land called the world, and so, if that tells you something of its beauty. Called Tuileries palace, it was destroyed in a fire. Her uncle was the pope. She married Henry, the king of France. She commissioned the first ballet. But I struggle with my opinion of her. I always have. She’s somehow related to pretty much everything you do in France. It’s hard to know about her. It all comes down to whether she orchestrate The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of French protestants in 1572. Some say it was the Guise brothers. I don’t know. I read a sensational novel on this, A Column of Fire, by Ken Follett, which was a great insight into the realities of living at the time. Funny, only fiction can put you into someone else’s reality. Why it’s so important to always read fiction.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, notable poet and physician wrote, “The Palais Royal was the great center of luxury and splendor of Paris, and that the Palais Royal was to Paris what Paris was to Europe.”

American painter George Healy did a portrait of king Louis Phillip in the Tuileries gardens.

Tom Thumb and PT Barnum strolled the area.

Harriet Breacher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom’s cabin, wrote in her journal at the Tuileries Gardens.

Nathaniel Willis met Morse and James Fenimore Cooper here on at least one occasion, according to David.

Charles Sumner strolled here –an anti slavery Senator from Massachusetts, Radical Republican during the Civil War. I’m not sure if he strolled the gardens of this area before or after he was caned for his anti slavery speech. I’d like to think he was inspired in Paris to give a speech like that.

Photos: These are all pretty self explanatory. We shot these around the Louvre and Palais-Royal gardens. The fountain is Place du la Concorde.

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