On my final trip to Paris I find myself in the 1st arrondissement, staying in an apartment at the Palais Royal! It is a tiny little thing but perfect for my needs with just me and Mummy… it is the GROUNDS, the AREA and the HISTORY of the building itself that are quite spectacular, so let me tell you a little of what I have learned about my new digs.
The Palais Royal was once a ROYAL PALACE. It is a gigantic square building with an inner courtyard garden surrounded by columned walkways where you are now able to shop or dine in the stores on the ground level. The upper floors have been converted into luxury apartments, with a few smaller apartments on the ground floor. Doggies are allowed to stroll inside the inner courtyard and hang out around the gigantic fountain anytime they please!!! Mummy and I take walks out here several times a day and we can sit at any of the numerous cafés that border the garden… which are only steps away from our apartment.
Some of the royals that called this place “home” were King Louis XIII, the Queen Mother Anne of Austria with her two sons Louis XIV and Philippe, duc d’Anjou. It was also home to exiled Henrietta Maria and Henrietta Anne Stuart, the wife and daughter of deposed King Charles I of England. They had escaped from England during the English Civil War and were given shelter here by Henrietta Maria’s nephew… who just happened to be King Louis XIV!!! It just goes to show you… it really IS, WHO YOU KNOW THAT COUNTS!!! ??
Henrietta Anne later married the King’s younger brother, Philippe de France, duc d’Orléans… and the next year she gave birth in the palace to Marie Louise d’Orléans. The palace became the primary residence for the “House of Orléans” and would be known as the social center of the capital under this newly married couple. The crème de la crème were seen at the parties given by the family and all of French society came here to be seen!
Many years later, sections of the Palais Royal were turned into the shopping arcades that exist today. These arcades became the center of the Parisian social life and people came here to get away from the dirty, dangerous streets of Paris and window-shop while also socializing!
So many more royals lived in the palace that it is difficult to mention them all, but the history that surrounds the area is magnificent! Today, several government offices are housed in part of the Palais Royal and the art installation by Daniel Buren called “Les Colonnes de Buren” made from black and white striped concrete columns, sits in the large inner courtyard of the Palais since 1986.
We have LOTS of exploring to do in this area during our final trip. The Louvre is just across the street and the shopping street to rival any street in the world is only one block away… rue Saint-Honoré. Every designer in the world is on that street, and I will go there… snd see if they know MY DOGGIE DESIGNERS!!!