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Photographer's Note

A view of the Palais du Luxembourg, situated on the north side of the Luxembourg Gardens, with entry from rue Vaugirard. The palace's construction was completed in 1625, designed for Queen Marie of the Médicis, the mother of Louis XIII. Turned into a prison during the French Revolution, it was transformed by Napoleon Bonaparte into a Senate, the purpose of which was to approve all his decisions. In 1836 it was enlarged to its current state. During World War 2 the Germans occupied it as their Luftwaffe headquarters, but after liberation Charles de Gaulle created the 5th Republic and the Senate that the French know today, with its 321 senators and President, who is the second most important figure in France after the President of the Republic.

I took the photo after watching senators debate for half an hour some apparently important economic matters, which had been preceded by a private guided tour provided by a good friend who had worked in the Senate for many years. I confess I was more interested at the time in the arrangement of the group of figures than the palace itself. I think the man shuffling past, hands in pockets, may be a 21st century Monsieur Hulot or perhaps some character from a Maigret novel. Is there a story here?

Shutter: 1/200
Aperture: f16
ISO: 200
Focal length: 30mm

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