Madeleine Square in Paris attracts both history buffs and ordinary sweet tooth. The fact is that there are wonderful historical and architectural sights, as well as several world-famous confectioneries. Of course, one does not interfere with the other, and during a visit to Place Madeleine you can quench your cognitive appetite, as well as enjoy French delicacies.
What to see
Once in Madeleine Square, be sure to visit the Church of Mary Magdalene. This beautiful temple, surrounded by a colonnade, should be carefully examined both outside and inside. The wealth of interior decoration, luxurious paintings, beautiful sculptures are unlikely to leave you indifferent. Also, inside the church there is a wonderful functioning organ.
On the square is a picturesque flower market. It serves as a reminder that Alfonsina Plessis lived here, the image of which Alexander Dumas the son used as a model for the novel “Lady with Camellias”.
House No. 14 is considered the cradle of cinema. In the Grand Cafe located in it, the first public film show of the Lumiere brothers took place.
Many old cafes operate on Place Madeleine today. Next to the square on Royal Street is Ladure Patisserie, which opened in 1862. Today this place is called the Chanel of the world of sweets. Near Madeleine Church you can go to the boutique of the Fauchon house. In this grocery supermarket you will have the opportunity to enjoy chocolate, sweets, wine, honey and many other products. Near the classic French shops you can taste oriental sweets - here is the Japanese confectionery Minamoto Kitchoan.
Not far from the Place de la Madeleine there is a very original attraction - a public toilet of the 19th century. You will definitely notice it on the way from the metro to the Place de la Madeleine. The institution has completely recreated the interior, typical for that time, although the internal system is still modern. Each booth is decorated with stained-glass windows, the doors are made of wood. In general - chic.
The easiest way to get to the Place de la Madeleine is by metro. The Madeleine station receives trains of lines 8, 12 and 14.
The territory on which Place Madeleine is located today was far beyond the boundaries of Paris. Here was the town of Ville Eveque, considered the patrimony of the bishops of Paris. Back in the 12th century, at the crossroads of Place Madeleine, a church was built for the peasants who lived in the village nearby. It was the Church of Mary Magdalene (abbreviated as the Madeleine Church) that gave the square its name, and many events in its history are associated with it.
At the end of the 15th century, a small church was rebuilt by order of King Charles VIII. In the 17th century, the church could no longer accommodate everyone, so it was again rebuilt. At the same time, the Madeleine Church received the status of a church parish. In 1722, the expansion of Paris reaches the town of Ville Etek, and it is annexed to the territory of the capital of France.
At this time, it was popular among the kings of the French Bourbon dynasty to erect royal squares, the obligatory attribute of which is the equestrian statue of the monarch in the middle. So, the modern Dauphin Square was a glorification of Henry IV, the Place des Vosges glorified Louis XIII, and the Victory Square - Louis XIV. Louis XV chose Madeleine Square to perpetuate his fame. In 1750, he decided to build the Royal Square in its place. The first stone of the new Madeleine church was laid in 1763, but construction was interrupted.
In 1791, the construction work was stopped by the Revolution, and for an unfinished building with columns for a long time could not find application. There were proposals to use it as an opera, library, parliament building. While the fate of the building was actively discussed, it was leased to artisans. The Madeleine church owes its further use as a religious building to the Emperor Napoleon, who wanted this temple to be dedicated to his army. The construction was completed under the supervision of the architect Vignon. According to his project, an ancient temple surrounded by columns was taken as a basis. In 1842, the new church building was finally consecrated. The interior of the temple was richly decorated with paintings and sculptures, and bronze doors were decorated with bas-reliefs with Old Testament subjects.
At the end of the 1920's - the beginning of the 1930's, two small grocery establishments appeared on the square. The first is Truffle House, and the second is Caspian Caviar. Subsequently, they became famous not only in Paris, but also among gourmets living far beyond France. By the way, a Russian emigrant opened a shop with caviar.