The Making of the French Garden: The Parks and Gardens of Paris

February 24 at 12 noon Chicago/1 pm Miami/19h Paris

The Making of the French Garden:   

The Parks and Gardens of Paris

According to the Ville de Paris website, the city of Paris has 490 parks, gardens and municipal squares under the responsibility of the Direction des Parcs, Jardins et Espaces Verts (DPJEV), which Haussmann established in 1855. The first gardens created next to the Tuileries Palace of Catherine de Médicis and the Luxembourg Palace of Marie de Médicis, were in the Italian style, designed to be seen from the château and to reflect the power of its occupant. The structural elements of the garden evolved into the Classical garden intended to show man’s domination of nature. These “regular” gardens reached their apogee under André Le Nôtre and his gardens at Vaux-le-Vicomte, Versailles and Chantilly, but also at the Tuileries. The parks and gardens created in Paris during the 19th century were inspired by the “irregular” English landscape gardens of “Capability” Brown and his successors – jardins à l’anglaise – which sought to return to nature. After a lull, Paris has enjoyed an explosion of new gardens in the past 40 years, most of them in the outer arrondissements. The current city government is determined to continue the “greening” of Paris.

About our speaker:

Russell Kelley is the curator and moderator of this lecture series and of last winter’s series on the “Grands Châteaux of the Loire and Île de France.” He has lived in Paris for 30 years and is the author of The Making of Paris: The Story of How Paris Evolved from a Fishing Village into the World’s Most Beautiful City (Lyons Press, 2021).

Support and Save! Become an Alliance Française member for as little as $65 a year for a membership and save on a pass for the series. Register only once and get your pass plus a weekly reminder emailed to you. 

Series of 8 lectures (for members only) $70 


This program is presented in partnership with the Alliance Française Chicago with communication support from the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA.  the French Heritage Society, the Historic Gardens Foundation, The Garden Conservancy and WICE


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