Place des Vosges in Paris


Place des Vosges is the oldest square in the city, which has retained its historical appearance since the days when it was called the Royal Square. Thus, the Place des Vosges is the only place in the Marais quarter that has not undergone changes since the time of construction. Naturally, it was not done without restoration, after which the facades of the buildings and the square itself attract with their splendor. The first floors, which until recently housed old trade shops, are now occupied by art galleries, antique and book stores, elite restaurants and tea salons.

History of education and attractions of the Place des Vosges

The wetlands where the square is now located once belonged to the Knights Templar. The lands were donated by the French monarch Louis IX. In the 13th century, the swamps were drained and the land developed. The quarter was named Mare, which means "swamp".

However, under the rule of the Templars, the Marais quarter was not for long. In the 14th century, the lands were taken from the order and returned to the French monarchs. At the same time, on the site of the future square, the Tournel Palace was built, in which Catherine de Medici and her husband, Henry II, lived at one time. The castle became fatal for the monarch - at one of the knightly tournaments he was mortally wounded by a spear. Catherine de Medici did not want to stay in this palace and moved to the Louvre, and the palace itself was demolished so that it would not remind of the tragedy that had happened here. After the dismantling of the Tournel Palace, a horse market worked in its place, and horse neighing was heard here from morning to evening.

The construction of King's Square was started by order of King Henry IV in 1605 and continued until 1612. For Paris at that time, this was an innovation that attracted general interest. Until that time, every square meter was used to the maximum in the city, the streets were crooked and narrow, and even in front of the famous cathedrals, the size of the free space was very limited. But thanks to the fact that the French monarch highly appreciated the ideas of urban planning presented by the Renaissance, the appearance of the city has significantly changed for the better. However, Henry IV himself did not live to see the completion of the construction - he was killed in 1610 by the Catholic fanatic Ravallac.

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The entire area is designed in the same style. It has the shape of a regular square with a side size of 140 m. Buildings designed in the same architectural style were built around the perimeter. Each of them stands on four arches, which allows you to go around the entire area around the perimeter, sheltering from the hot sun or rain. All buildings are built of red brick and gray stone. The square is closed on all sides, it is crossed by the only street.

Louis XIII, who came to power, used the opening of Place Royale to celebrate his engagement to Anne of Austria. Guests from Austria were so impressed by its appearance that for Austrian urban planning it became a kind of model for many decades. In two buildings, the engagement of the king was celebrated by commoners, since then these buildings are called the pavilions of the king and queen. It is these two buildings that stand out at least a little from the other thirty-four buildings that surround the square.

From the very beginning, Place Royale has become a favorite pastime for Parisians. Some just came here to admire it, and many wealthy citizens tried to settle here. The famous Cardinal Richelieu lived in the mansion # 21. He ordered to melt the statue of Henry IV into an equestrian sculpture of Louis XIII, although later, by order of Robespierre, it was melted down into a cannon.

Other celebrities whose names are associated with the Place des Vosges are Victor Hugo (since 1903 his museum has been operating in building No. 6), Alphonse Daudet, Théophile Gaultier.

In 1800, Napoleon ordered that the Place Royale be renamed the Place des Vosges. This was a tribute to the inhabitants of the Vosges region, who financed the revolutionary army from their own savings. By order of Napoleon, a statue of Louis XIII was restored, though not from bronze, but from marble. In the 20th century, a copy made of cement was installed in its place, and the statue itself went to the museum.

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Getting there

Address: Place des Vosges, Paris 75004.
Metro: Bastille.
Bus: Place des Vosges.