Square Jean XXIII in Paris


Square and Jean XXIII Square (Square Jean-XXIII) is located on the eastern tip of the Isle of Cité on the south side of the Notre-Dame-de-Paris Cathedral between the Double Denier Bridge and the Archbishop's Bridge.

Day yesterday and today

In the Middle Ages, the territory of the future square was little used, but everything changed after the construction of the Archbishop's Palace. The first large garden was laid out near the clergyman's residence, designed by Gabriel Tuin.

During the riots of the 1830 revolution, the archbishop's palace was burned down and was never rebuilt. The area devastated by fire was again landscaped by order of the prefect of the Seine, Count Rambuto in 1837-1844. At the same time, the area of ​​the Archbishop's Garden increased after the demolition of several medieval houses that blocked the view of Notre Dame Cathedral.

In 1850, architects Viollet Le Duc and Lasus built a sacristy and a parish house for the Notre-Dame-de Paris cathedral, after which the territory of the future square of John XXIII remained almost unchanged.

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 and the events of the Paris Commune, the Archbishop's Square unexpectedly acquired an important military-strategic importance. A park of artillery pieces was temporarily located among its trees.

The square on the Isle of Cité in front of Notre Dame Cathedral received its modern name in 1970 in honor of Pope John XXIII. Now its area is just over 1 hectare, but in this small area there are many monuments and objects of interest to curious tourists.

Nature corner

Throughout the square, you can find shrubs and trees from distant exotic countries. Along with silvery lindens, chestnuts, tamarisk, cherries and weeping willows, Japanese sakura, mulberry and Byzantine hazel trees grow here. Dense thickets of ivy descend along the retaining wall to the waters of the Seine.

It is interesting to read:  Potocki Mansion in Paris

The flower beds on the lawns of the park delight tourists with a variety of flowering plants and the work of garden designers. In 2012, their work was awarded the third prize at a professional city competition.

Monuments and monuments

The most significant attraction of the square of John XXIII was built in 1845. The Gothic Fountain of Our Lady, ideally combined in architectural style with the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, was built by the engineer Alphonse Vigure.

The statue of the Virgin Mary is erected on a pedestal 10 m high. On each of its three sides, you can see 4 figures of the apostles. At the triangular base of the fountain, there are three statues of archangels created by the sculptor Louis Merlier, at whose feet streams of water flow,

In 1906, Paris received a bust of the playwright Carlo Goldoni from Italy and the sculptor Eduardo Fortini. In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the librettist, the monument was erected in a picturesque corner of the park. Not so long ago, another sculpture appeared in it. In 2014, a statue of John Paul II, created by the Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, was installed on the green lawn.

Entertainment in the park

Several days a year, in the square of John XXIII, you can watch the life of the predatory kestrel, which has settled on the island. With the help of perfect optics and a projection screen installed in the tent of the Ile-de-France Ornithological Center, it will be possible to examine their nests in detail.

On weekends, children and adults are invited to take part in the quest game "The Secret of Quasimodo" developed based on the book by V. Hugo "Notre Dame Cathedral". They have to solve five riddles before discovering the prize.

Open-air concerts are often held on the stage of the square. They play popular pop-rock hits of the late 20th century. from the repertoire of Oasis, U2, Nirvana, Police. Poetry and dance evenings are also held here as part of the Kiosques en fete project.

It is interesting to read:  La Frontiera Gallery in Paris

Getting there

Address: 4 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, Paris 75004.
Run time: 10: 00-21: 30.