Musée de l'Orangerie, Bavali
About Musée de l'Orangerie
Napoleon III had the Orangerie built in 1852, to store the citrus trees of the Tuileries garden from the cold in the winter. The building was built by architect Firmin Bourgeois (1786-1853). Bourgeois built the Orangerie out of glass on the Seine side to allow light to the trees but the opposite side is almost completely windowless to protect the citrus trees from the cold winds. Before the Orangerie was built, the trees were stored in the Grande Galerie of the Louvre. The main entrances on the east and west side of the building were decorated by architect Louis Visconti (1791-1853) who is also known for his renovations on the Louvre. The columns located at the doors are topped by triangular pediments that were sculpted by Charles Gallois-Poignant. The tops of the columns represent cornucopias, plants and ears of corn that relate to the building's agricultural function. After the Fall of the Empire in 1870 and the fire at the Tuileries Palace in 1871, the Orangerie became a property of the State, which continued to use the Orangerie in its original function as well as for public events such as music concerts, art expositions, contests and dog shows until 1922.