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    This historic and political highpoint of Paris is one of the capital's most charming locations, a favourite summer picnic spot for locals with its landscaped gardens and refreshing fountains. These gardens are filled with chestnut trees; around which interestingly enough took place some of the initial revolutionary meetings. Where in 1789 a young Camille Desmoulins rallied a crowd and then led them on to the Tuileries for one of the first anti-royalist protests; a protest that was swiftly suppressed in a characteristically violent manner.
palais royal
The Palais Royal has managed to retain the feel of times gone by, its mosaic paved arcades populated by quaint and eclectic boutiques. Here you will find merchants specialised in toy soldiers, medals, even felt hats. Lovers of haute couture will discover second-hand gems and those after a simple coffee or meal will enjoy the restaurants, which offer near unparalleled tranquility for an outdoor lunch in Paris.
A simple stroll around the Palace arcade is bliss, particularly on rainy days as it is entirely covered. The architect Jacques Lemercier built the elegant structure in 1628.
The palace itself was commissioned by the Cardinal of Richelieu, who had desired a palace within a stone’s throw from the Louvre. Anne of Austria sought refuge here briefly with the young Louis XIV, preferring the Italian intimacy of the surroundings to the solemn majesty of the Louvre.
From the 18th century the Palace became one of Paris’ most sought after locations, men of commerce and ladies of the night alike setting up shop within. Molière lived not far from the Palace at 40, rue de Richelieu.
Today one section of the Palace is home to the Minister of Culture. Another, on the Place Malraux, holds the Comédie française. Also located within the building is the prestigious gastronomic restaurant the Grand Véfour.
A touch of the present was added to the Palace court in 1986 when the sculptor Buren installed black and white striped columns. Whilst perhaps not to everyone’s taste the mix of 20th century sculpture with the immortal classicism of the 18th century building ensures that this magnificent building continues to evolve and enchant.

La Conciergerie

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