15 years later the Palais du
Luxembourg was finished. However Marie had been exiled by her son, now king, to
Germany in 1617 for meddling in state affairs and opposing Richelieu (once her
protege). She died some years later in Cologne quite destitute.
A succession of members of the
French royal family lived in the Palais. And in 1750 the east wing was open to
the public twice a week so they could come and view around 50 of the King's
paintings. This was the first public museum in France.
During the revolution the Palais
served as a prison. It is estimated that 800 prisoners were kept here, and
about a third of these were sent to be guillotined. One of the unlucky ones who survived was Danton.
Since 1850 the Palais has been home
to the Sénat, so can be visited on Sundays only. The entrance for
visitors is round the back of the building.
On the left is a close-up of the clock above the front entrance.