The Jardin de l'Intendant, the Garden of the Steward, is located on the grounds of Hôtel des Invalides, in front and to the south-west of the Eglise du Dôme, the Church of the Dome.
It is a classically-French designed garden of 13,311 square meters, created in 1980, based on an 18th century design of Robert de Cotte's, brother-in-law to Jules Hardouin Mansart and Steward of Buildings and Gardens under Louis XV.
A row of trees separates the Jardin de l'Intendant from the approach to the Eglise du Dôme. Here, on the garden side of the trees, is a bronze statue of Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the architect of the Eglise du Dôme, created in the 19th century by Ernest Dubois.
Beyond these trees is a large pool and fountain surrounded by four-foot high sharply trimmed, cone-shaped yew bushes standing in abundantly filled flower beds. The network of lawns among the flower beds are crossed with walking paths and lined with benches. It is a lovely, restful garden for taking a bit of sunshine, listening to the splash of the fountain and admiring the gilded dome of the church, brilliantly in view.
The Dome was, in fact, re-gilded in 1989, requiring 12.65 kilograms of gold which came in the form of 550,000 leaves of gold at .2 microns thick.
The Jardin de l'Intendant and the grounds of the Eglise du Dôme are surrounded by a moat, now dry and growing lawns which are kept manicured.
For sitting on benches under the shade of trees, walk over to the west side of the garden. The square of double-rowed broad leafed plane trees provide ample amounts of shade for the benches there.
Here, in the middle of this square formed by trees is found, standing alone, a somewhat disturbing statue, as well it was intended to be. In its simplicity it makes a powerful impression. It is a bronze statue and fountain of a headless woman who is holding her decapitated head in her own hands. Water issues from her severed neck and flows down her body.
It is the creation of the Belgian sculpture Nicolas Alquin. It was placed here on December 3, 1998, and is dedicated to the memory of the victims of terrorism.
The statue was commissioned by the group S.O.S. Attentats (in English, "Attentats" means Attacks, or Assaults). This French association was created for victims of terrorism by victims of terrorism. The S.O.S. Attentats sponsor epidemiological studies of the health risks posed by terrorist attacks. For further information on this association their website address, which can be viewed in English, is: http://www.sos-attentats.org
The Jardin de l'Intendant is open everyday and is entered by way of the Guard's House on Avenue de Tourvillle in front of the Eglise du Dôme.
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