What began as a palace in 1645 was converted into a museum and then a legislative building at the turn of the 19th century. Since 1958, Palais du Luxembourg has housed the French Senate. What the Parisians love about it is the 61 acre garden in back. On weekends, people lounge on the lawn and tan or eat ice cream. Parents huddle together for a chat while their children run around a large fountain floating toy sailboats they propel using long sticks. The Luxembourg Garden is a perfect spot to spend a spring afternoon in Paris.