Once a royal residence, now government offices
place du Palais-Royal, 1 er. Built by Richelieu, the sombre 17thC palace has had a chequered career, lurching from cardinal’s residence to royal household to Revolutionary bawdy house. Once owned by the Orléans family who enclosed the pleasure gardens with apartment houses to recoup their finances, it is now occupied by various government offices. The gardens form a peaceful oasis; while the main courtyard is full of children leap-frogging over Daniel Buren’s bizarre but pleasingly wacky arrangement of black-and-white striped and truncated columns. Less energetic adults can be soothed by the water scupltures.