The horse chestnut trees in Place Dauphine are just coming into flower. The twenty nine young trees (of variety Aesculus carnea ‘Briotii’) are still quite small, so the flowers are not much above head height. Up close the dusky red colour of the flower spikes turns out to be a blend of red flower stems and pink flowers with orange centres.
Place Dauphine, at the west end of the Île de la Cité, is a triangle, reflecting the pointed, boat shape of the island. The regular, grid pattern of classic Paris park style has been adapted to fit the outline with parallel rows of trees facing the mature trees on the short side of the triangle. The wide-spaced arrangement of the trees doesn’t lend itself to rows of benches like Square Jean XXIII or Place des Vosges. Instead the seats here are scattered (formally) through the open space in a way that makes them (and the people sitting on them) look slightly lost. Elegant but not exactly cosy!