24.1.13

Luxembourg Palace (2)



Referring to my previous post, about the Luxembourg Palace, here is a second one.

So, since 1799, the former Royal Castle was transformed into the legislative building it still is and the Senate (in different forms) has been housed here since, with a short exception 1940-44, when it became the French headquarters of the “Luftwaffe” and Herman Göring prepared some nice accommodations for his visits to Paris.

The Senate is the upper house of the French Parliament. The President of the Senate is ranked as number two in the French hierarchy and would replace the President of the Republic awaiting new elections. 348 members are elected indirectly by “grands électeurs” for six years. Half of the members are elected every three years.

After a first renovation of the building (see previous post), a more important one was undertaken as from 1835; the blue parts were added to the old building. The new facade was made to look exactly as on the original palace. A new senate chamber, a library, and what is called the “Salle des Conférences”, which got its present decoration in the 1850’s were added.








The“Salle des Conférences”  is highly decorated in a typical “Second Empire” style. Napoleon’s throne, when he assisted at the Senate, is still to be seen.



The senate chamber was more or less in the dark during my visit; not easy to get any good pictures, but here they are.




Unfortunately it was not possible to visit the library, but I took a photo of a photo. If you would manage to enter you would have seen a number of paintings by Eugène Delacroix. I just managed to take a picture through a door. The table is placed exactly in the middle of the building - we can (more or less) see the garden behind. To be in the middle here, means to be exactly on the old French Meridian (the “Rose Line”), which was abandoned to the advantage of Greenwich by the end of the 19th century. (As compensation, the British promised to accept the metric system. J I have talked about this already in several posts, e.g. here.)
Actually, the line does not go exactly through this room. Information corrected by a new post in February 2014. 

14 comments:

Virginia said...

I have always wondered what the inside of this beautiful building was like but thought it impossible to visit. I should have known you would find a way! It's rather grand...I should have known!
V

Jeanie said...

Oh, Peter, I can see why this merited an extra post! So elegant!

French Girl in Seattle said...

Trust Herman Göring to always pick comfortable (if not humble) living quarters... My, what a place. How do French Senators get any work done in such grandiose surroundings? -- Wait... Maybe they DON'T! Ha! As if the interior was not distracting enough, they also get to peak outside at the Luxembourg Gardens. Tssss... I tell you, Peter, it's a rough life being a French Senator... Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Pierre BOYER said...

Que d'or ! ...
Bonne journée,

Pierre

claude said...

C'est tout simplement et bonnement MAGNIFIQUE.
Merci pour cette splendide visite.

Cezar and Léia said...

thanks so much for taking us with you in this special tour inside the Palace!Your pictures are magnificent!
Léia

Kittie Howard said...

These photos are such a treat, I'm going to visit your previous post. Hub and I spent a week in Luxembourg a few years ago but weren't able to visit the palace. It's truly magnificent. Thank you!

Starman said...

Beautiful! Like, Virginia, I have never been inside this fantastic building.

ALAIN said...

Le "N" du trone, c'est Napoléon ou Nicolas ?

Synne said...

That is so cool, to see Napoleon's chair and the table on the rose line! Not to mention the overwhelming interiors surrounding the two. Wow!

Cergie said...

Quels messages extraordinaires mais on s'y perd un peu ! Je m'y perds !
Il me semble que nous n'avons pas visité le même endroit dans l'endroit. Je suis allée en 2010 au Petit Luxembourg, la résidence du Président du Sénat, souviens toi (j'ai moi-même du mal à me souvenir)...

http://cergipontin.blogspot.fr/2010/02/le-petit-luxembourg-paris-6eme.html

Anonymous said...

Thumbs up to M. Alain's comment...he nailed it!

Fantastic photos M. Peter!
Thank you so much.

Maria

Studio at the Farm said...

What a magnificent building! Thank you so much, Peter, for all your great photos and information.

Vagabonde said...

Vraiment des intérieurs fastueux! Moi, c’est la librairie qui m’aurait tentée. Merci pour cette si belle visite guidée.