Yet another symbol of the vagaries of French history, the Palais du Luxembourg and its famous gardens were originally commissioned by Marie de Médicis, the widow of the assassinated Henri IV. Bored with the Louvre, her idea was to build a palace that would remind her of her native Florence. After she had acquired the property from Duke Francis of Luxembourg, in 1612, the architect Salmon de Brosse was given plans of the Piti Palace for inspiration and work started in 1615. However, by the time it was completed in 1631 she had twice been forced into exile : once by her own son, Louis XII and again by the powerful Cardinal Richelieu. She died penniless in exile in Cologne.