Thanks to a new policy inaugurated by President Francois Hollande, the beautiful 18th Century designed gardens of the Elysée Palace, once home to Madame Pompadour, the favourite mistress of Louis XV are being opened to the public.
Previously only on view to privileged invitees or ministers and to the public only for one weekend on heritage days, the park of two hectares will now be opened to all visitors on each last Sunday of the month.
The original building known as the Hotel d’Evreux was built between 1718 and 1722 and the gardens are laid out to the style of those days. The garden of two hectares (20,000 square meters, 7000 square meters of lawn) features a long curved lawn, bordered by trees, flowers and bushes. There is a maze and a fountain, fruit trees and three well known plane trees planted by Bathilde d’Orléans (1750-1822) known as the Duchess of Bourbon. In the spring and summer thousands of hyacinths, tulips and summer flowers add vibrant colour.
Access to the gardens is just off the Avenue Champs Elysée via an ornate wrought-iron gate topped with a gilt rooster, the French national symbol, in Avenue Gabriel.
12.00 to 17.00 the last Sunday of the month from October to March
13.00 to 19.00 last Sunday of the month from April to September
Take a virtual tour of the Palace and gardens here