Palais Royal

Lonely Planet review

North of place du Palais Royal and the Louvre lies the Palais Royal, which briefly housed a young Louis XIV in the 1640s. Construction was begun in 1624 by Cardinal Richelieu, though most of the present neoclassical complex dates from the latter part of the 18th century. It now contains the governmental Conseil d’État (State Council) and is closed to the public.

Just north of the palace is the Jardin du Palais Royal, a lovely, 21-hectare park surrounded by two arcades, namely Galerie de Valois with its designer fashion shops, art galleries and jewellers, and Galerie de Montpensier with a few old shops remaining. At the southern end are the black-and-white striped columns of various heights by Daniel Buren, started in 1986, interrupted by irate Parisians and finished – following the intervention of the Ministry of Culture and Communication – in 1995. Toss a coin and if it lands on one of the columns, your wish will come true.