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Palais Royal, Paris


The Palais-Royal is a palace and garden north of the Louvre in the Ier arrondissement of Paris. Opposite the north wing of the Louvre, its famous forecourt (cour d'honneur) screened with columns (since 1986 containing Daniel Buren's site-specific artpiece) faces the Place du Palais-Royal, which was much enlarged by Baron Haussmann after the Rue de Rivoli was built for Napoleon.

Never for long a royal palace, despite the misleading name, it was the home of Richelieu, begun in 1629 (its architect, Jacques Lemercier) and known as Palais Cardinal. Richelieu bequeathed it to the French Crown. After Louis XIII died, it housed the Queen-Mother Anne of Austria, and Cardinal Mazarin and the young Louis XIV. Later the Palais-Royal became the Paris seat of the dukes of Orleans, the cadet branch of the ruling House of Bourbon, beginning with Louis XIV's brother Philippe.

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