History of The Grande Allée

In 1564, the queen decided to build a new palace with an adjacent garden. Reserved for the pleasures of the royal court, the so-called “Tuileries” palace and garden hosted many festivities, like those held in 1573 in honor of Polish ambassadors.

Brussels workshop, after a cartoon by Luc de Heere, based on a drawing by Antoine Caron, The Reception of Polish Ambassadors by Catherine de’ Medici in 1573 (about 1582–1585)
© 2020. Photo Scala, Florence – courtesy of the Ministero Beni e Att. Culturali e del Turismo

During that period, the Tuileries Garden consisted of several flowerbeds separated by a grid of paths arranged at right angles, like most Renaissance gardens.
A wide path running through the center of the garden – which would later become the Grande Allée – led westward to a semi-circular area surrounded by walls that provided appropriate acoustics for performances.

Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, “Les Thuilleries”
© Château de Fontainebleau, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / image château de Fontainebleau