Paris: Jardin des Grands Explorateurs (Garden of the Great Explorers)
Aka: Les Jardins de l’Observatoire, as they are on the one end of the Avenue de l’Observatoire, which connects the Luxembourg Gardens with the Observatory of Paris.
The centerpiece of this pretty garden—an extension of the famous Luxembourg Gardens—is the Fontaine des Quatre Parties du Monde (Fountain of the Four Parts of the World). This wonderful fountain was designed in 1873 and supervised by Gabriel Davioud. It represents Asia, Africa, Europe, and America. Asia is shown by the figure of a Chinese woman; Europe is represented by the figure of a white woman; Africa is depicted by the figure of a black woman; and America is represented by an American Indian woman. The four figures were created by Jean Baptiste Carpeaux and support a globe decorated with zodiac signs. Very realistic prancing sea horses, created by Emmanuel Frémiet, surround the central figures. Below those are statues of fish and turtles, spurting water.
For us, the centerpiece of the centerpiece is the bronze horses—we were fascinated with how lovely and how realistic they are and how the water droplets shimmer around them.