Jardin Marco Polo in the Jardin des Grands Explorateurs
This is one of two gardens located within the Jardin des Grands Explorateurs, which is classed as an extension part of the Luxembourg Gardens, and it holds different statues, numerous large trees, lawns, flowerbeds and park benches. Yet one of its main features is the ornamental fountain called the Fontaine des Quatre Parties du Monde, although it is often known as the Fontaine de l’Observatoire or the Carpeaux Fountain.
About the Jardin Marco Polo in Paris
The Jardin Marco Polo is a garden located along the Avenue de l’Observatoire and is one of two gardens in Paris named after explorers, which is situated next to the Jardin Robert Cavelier de la Salle within the Jardin des Grands Explorers that is often incorrectly called the Jardin de l’Observatoire.
This garden was named after the explorer and merchant Marco Polo who was born in the 1200s in Venice and was known for his great explorations especially within China and Central Asia.
A book of his experiences was published in approximately the year 1300 that even inspired Christopher Columbus, plus he had a major influence on European cartography, which is a term used for map making and plotting.
You will find large expanses of lawn and plenty of flowerbeds along with rows of chestnut trees, which was how the Jardin Marco Polo was first laid out in the 1860s, in a formal French style, and there are plenty of park benches where you can sit and relax while admiring the flora.
Plus there are two statues in Paris located here, which are a part of a set of four depicting different times of the day, with the other two being in the Jardin Robert Cavelier de la Salle. These were produced in the 1870s by renowned sculptors with one by Francois Jouffrey being called l’Aurore, which translates to Dawn in English and the other is by the artist Jean Joseph Perraud called Le Jour, which translates to The Day.
Yet probably the most well known feature of the Jardin Marco Polo is the impressive monumental fountain in Paris called Fontaine des Quatre Parties du Monde, which translates in English to the Fountain of the Four Parts of the World, and it was designed by Jean Baptiste Carpeaux along with Gabriel Davioud, who was in charge of fountains and parks in Paris at the time.
However, this fountain is also often called the Fontaine de l’Observatoire and sometimes the Carpeaux Fountain, being named after the sculptor that produced the four statues, even though other artists also worked on the monumental fountain, and this can still be seen in all its glory at the southern most end of the Jardin Marco Polo.
Visiting the Jardin Marco Polo Garden in Paris
We mentioned earlier that the Jardin Marco Polo is the southern garden within the Jardin des Grands Explorateurs, which is located next to the Jardin Robert Cavelier de la Salle in what is classed as the extension part of the Jardin du Luxembourg that is located in the 6th Arrondissement of Paris.
You may also be pleased to know that the majority of the garden is accessible to the disabled, yet we would like to point out that it normally opens at around 8am on weekdays and 9am at weekends. However, the closing times do vary depending upon the time of year, from as early as 5:30pm in winter or as late as 9pm during the summer months.
Now when it comes to getting to the garden and fountain via public transport in Paris, you will find that the nearest RER station is the Port Royal stop serving line B, yet the nearest Metro station is the Raspail stop serving lines 4 and 6.
Alternatively the bus lines 38, 82, 83 and 91, along with the Noctilien Night Bus Service via lines N01, N02, N14, N21 and N122 will also get you close by, and there are also three different Velib stations for the self service bike hire scheme within walking distance as well.