Pavillon Davioud in Jardin du Luxembourg
The Davioud Pavillion was constructed and named after the architect back in the 1860s and is located within the Luxembourg Gardens, and now home to a school of horticulture, plus the setting for the annual honey festival, this is just one of the many tourist attractions to be found within the gardens.
About the Pavillon Davioud in Paris
It was the Inspector General for architectural works and the chief architect for parks and fountains in Paris during the transformation under Baron Haussmann, who came up with the design for the ornate pavilion located in the Jardin du Luxembourg.
Constructed in 1867, it was named after the architect Gabriel Davioud, which was at the same time as the Avenue de l’Observatoire and the Jardin des Grands Explorateurs were being laid out. Located at the southern end of the Jardin du Luxembourg with the impressive Fontaine de l’Observatoire, also known as the Fontaine des Quatre Parties du Monde, this was also designed by Davioud in conjunction with Jean Baptiste Carpeaux.
Originally the Pavillon Davioud was a coffee shop, but then became home to a beekeeping school and a horticultural school, and today, every year it plays host to lectures from the beekeeping society, courses on horticulture and the annual honey festival.
This small ornate building has now been classified as an historical monument in Paris, just like some of the other works by the architect Gabriel Davioud, such as the Fontaine Saint-Michel and the Theatre de la Ville.
Temporary art exhibitions are also held within the Davioud Pavilion during the months of July and August, which are organised the French Senate and completely free of charge, local artists are able to showcase their works for a maximum period of 14 days, although an artist has to apply to the Senate to be included.
Yet this means that during these months there is are always different paintings, sculptures and even photographs that you can enjoy.
About the Ecole d’Horticulture at the Pavillon Davioud
Incredibly the Jardin du Luxembourg Horticultural School, called the Ecole d’Horticulture in French, was first established back in 1809 by the Minister of the Interior on the site of the Carthusian nursery, which is a part of the Luxembourg Gardens that remains intact from centuries before.
There are set courses organised each year, which, as you would expect, are in the French language, and taught by the employees of the Conservation des Jardins du Luxembourg Pavillon Davioud, these are completely free to attend.
Based upon different themes such as a fruit garden for instance, the horticulture courses are very popular and we would like to point out that places are limited, so you do have to book well in advance, sometimes a year or so ahead.
About the Apiary and the Honey Festival at the Davioud Pavilion
A bee house is known as an Apiary in English, or Rucher in French, and incredibly there has been a beekeeping house and school at the Jardin du Luxembourg since 1856, which was first founded by Henri Harnet.
Although there are far fewer apiaries in Paris than there were many decades ago, the art of beekeeping is thriving once more, so you can get to see antique bee houses along with more modern ones within the garden.
In fact, a beekeeper by the name of Jean Pauchon, installed a beehive on the roof of the Palais Garnier, which is the ornate Opera House in Paris, and he realised that even though they were in a city, they were thriving exceedingly well. A part of this reason, is due to the fact that there is an abundance of different flora in a completely pesticide free environment within all the parks and gardens in Paris.
This means that the beehives within the Jardin du Luxembourg are also thriving with the abundance of trees and flowers dotted all over these impressive gardens, and as of 2015, it is Jean Pouchon who has been running beekeeping classes at the Pavillon Davioud, known as the Ecole Rucher.
But in addition to these, every year there is a Honey Festival, called the Fete du Miel, which is held at the Davioud Pavilion each September, and lasting approximately two days towards the end of the month, you can taste and purchase honey.
This annual event that has been running since the 19th century, however, it has become so popular meaning the unique produce available from this garden in Paris often runs out way before the event is over.
Visiting the Pavillon Davioud in Paris
Now even if you are not going to attend a course, or visit a temporary art exhibition, but still wish to discover the Pavillon Davioud and the Apiary located very close to it, as we have mentioned previously, you will find this historical and ornate building located within the Luxembourg Gardens.
It is situated close to the pedestrian access point on the Rue d’Assas in the 6th Arrondissement, which is in the south western part of these gardens.
So when it comes to getting here via public transport in Paris, the nearest Metro station is the Notre-Dame-des-Champs stop serving line 12, or on the opposite side of the Jardin du Luxembourg you have the RER train station called the Luxembourg stop serving the RER B Line.
Alternatively, the bus lines 58, 82 and 83 will get you closest to this entrance and the Pavilion Davioud, however there are also the Bus Lines 21, 27, 38, 84 and 89 along with the Noctilien Night Bus via Lines N14, N21 and N122 that will get you within walking distance.