I have been posting on the large gardens of Paris, so I thought I would present some of the smaller gardens as well. This is inside the Hôtel-Dieu complex, a working hospital, next to Notre Dame. The French believe that gardens help cure patients more quickly. This hospital has a full time gardener who keeps the gardens in good condition. The medicinal garden was a staple of gardening in medieval times, often mixed in with the kitchen garden. Also known as a herb garden or a garden of simples, specialized medicinal gardens have been made at least since the Middle Ages, though plants were grown for medical purposes long before. A “simple” is a herb used on its own in medical treatment. Many modern drugs are, of course, extracted from herbs and other plants.
The Pont Neuf runs between the right and left banks of the Seine River in the middle of Paris, on its way touching one end of the Ile de la Cite where Notre Dame stands. As you can see in the photograph it is divided into two parts, one of seven arches joining the right bank to the Île de la Cité, another of five joining the island to the left bank. The little park in the center is called Square du Vert-Galant, a park named in honor of Henry IV, who was nicknamed the “Green Gallant”. The park is a great place to relax if you are at Notre Dame or the Louvre, go up to the other end of the island if you are at Notre Dame or just down from the Louvre. The best views are from the Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge just upstream, which is why I included both in the post. Get some ice creme from Berthillon (see my post) or bring a lunch.