When Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were taken from Versailles by the Revolutionary mob, they were locked in the Tuileries Palace. Two centuries later, the palace is no longer standing, but the Tuileries garden is still extremely popular with Parisians.
Stretching from the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries gardens were named after the medieval tilemakers that once occupied the site. The Tuileries gardens are all that survive of the palace and grounds commissioned by Catherine de Medicis in the mid-sixteenth century.
Catherine took great interest in her garden and had a maze, a chequerboard of flowerbeds and formal vegetable gardens laid out, to be admired by guests at her sumptuous parties. A hundred years later, le Notre, father of the landscape architect who landscaped the grounds of Versailles, created the current design of the gardens, installing a central axis, round and octagonal pools.
Later still, sculptures were brought here from Versailles and Marly, included Coysevox's rearing horses Fama and Mercury. The originals are now housed in the Richelieu wing of the Louvre and have been replaced by copies.
Situated at the west end of the Tuileries gardens is the Orangerie, which underwent major renovations and reopened in 2001. It houses several of Monet's Water Lilies, as well as a private art collection. The recent work involved restructuring the building and replacing many of the existing exterior walls with glass, in line with the building's original function as an Orangerie.
Opposite the Orangerie, the Jeu de Paume was formerly home to the state's Impressionist collection before its relocation to the Muse d'Orsay. It is now used for temporary shows of contemporary art, usually major retrospectives of established artists.
In Saint Tropez everything is famous, especially the beaches. There are at least 40 beaches on the peninsula from Bouillabaisse Beach to Plage de Pampelonne, the most famous among the beaches and the place where topless sun bathing first shocked the world.
Plage de Pampelonne is a 5km stretch of white sand, lined with cafes and restaurants, including the renowned Club 55. The club started in 1955, the year Bridget Bardot came to town to star in a movie called And God Created Woman. The very north end of this is Plage de Tahiti, well-known as a famous haunt of celebrities.
You'll also need somewhere to stay. La Tartane Hotel is situated just a few minutes from Saint-Tropez and very close to the Cannebiers and Salins beaches, and a fifteen-minute drive from Plage de Pampelonne.
Hiding in a groomed, sub-tropical garden, La Tartane has been designed to recreate the feel and style of a Tropezienne village. The luxury hotel features twenty-seven African and Mediterranean themed rooms and suites, with private patios.All rooms are en-suite with spacious, deluxe bathrooms, temperature controlled air-conditioning, mini-bar, in-room safe, satellite TV, direct-dial telephone and internet connection.