Construction of the Palace began in 1615, at the request of the Queen Marie de' Medici. It now houses the French Senate (since 1799). Architect Salomon de Brosse was asked to make a building similar to Florence's Palazo Pitti, where Marie de' Medici was born. The Luxembourg Palace also has a characteristic French castle layout with a square court, a "cour d'honneur", and twin pavilions.
The Palace is a treat for the eye, especially the Conference hall, the Library, the main stairs ("l'escalier d'honneur")...
Note that the original private mansion that gave the name Luxembourg to the Palace is now called the Petit-Luxembourg, and is since 1825 the official residence of the President of the Senate.
- Visiting the Luxembourg Palace - You should know that the french Parliament (the National Assembly and the Senate) sessions are public. Visiting the Palace (at no fee) is thus quite easy (get information by calling +33 01 42 34 20 01). Moreover, open doors days are regularly organized, mostly on saturday, in addition to the yearly "Journées du Patrimoine" at the end of September.