Luxembourg Palace. Palais du Luxembourg. Built 1615–1645.
THE Palace of the Luxembourg is situated in the Faubourg St. Germain, Rue de Vaugirard. It first received the name of the Palais d’ Orleans; in the Revolution it was called the Palais du Directoire, afterwards the Palais du Consulat, and the Palais du Senat Conservateur; it is now called the Palais de la Chambre des Pairs, though more generally known by its title of the Luxembourg.
It is considered next in importance and grandeur to the Louvre; over which it has the advantage of having been planned and executed by the same architect. Le Bernin expressed his opinion that it could not possibly be exceeded in regularity of design or beauty of execution.
Salomon de Brosse was the architect, who completed it in six years for Marie de Medicis. Her son Gaston de France came in possession of it. It was successively the residence of the Duchess of Montpensier, and the Duchess of Guise. It came again into the possession of the baron, and Louis XVI. in 1779, gave it to Monsieur. Over the centuries, many architects have worked on the palace, including Germain Boffrand and Jean-François Chalgrin.
It is now the Chamber of Peers. It forms nearly a square. The front towards the Rue Tournon and the Garden, is 360 feet in length, and the other fronts about 300 feet. The principal entrance is from the Rue de Tournon; from this side the facade presents, at each end, two pavilions, and in the centre is a dome, ornamented by several colossal figures holding wreaths of flowers.
The Court is of great extent, and is flanked on each side by corresponding buildings. The principal orders employed are the Tuscan on the ground plan, the Doric on the first floor, and these are surmounted by the Ionic. The architecture throughout is distinguished for its bold and masculine character.
Source: Paris and its environs, displayed in a series of two hundred picturesque views, from original drawings by Augustus Pugin; Welby Northmore Pugin, Augustus; Charles Heath, Charles, 1785-1848; L. T. Ventouillac. London: Jennings and Chaplin Finsbury, 1831.