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Database: Palais des Tuileries

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Originally a separate palace, the Tuileries was united with the Louvre palace by Henry IV. The original Tuileries was the result of a caprice of Catherine de' Medici, who found the Louvre too big, too cold, and too crowded. She turned her attentions to a former tile factory on the other side of the ditch, which she would transform into the palace of her dreams. Since the land was vacant, there was no one to expropriate.*
* Posh person's word, meaning: forcibly turf out.
Over the centuries, the Tuileries' garden would become much like an amusement park, the highlight of which came when Jacques Alexandre César Charles launched the world's first hydrogen filled balloon there: 400,000 people filled the garden, embankments, roofs and Place Louis XV: the entry fee was three sous. Nine years later, the mood was decidedly less friendly to Louis XVI when he and his family had to take refuge in the Salle du Manège, having escaped a mob of insurgents who invaded the Tuileries on August 10, 1792: a revolutionary day that brought the monarchy's downfall. What was once Queen Catherine's park had become the Republic's meltin pot.**

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