Square Rene Viviana in Paris


Square René Viviani-Montebello is located in the 5th arrondissement of the French capital, surrounded by ancient city blocks on the banks of the Seine.

History and location of the park

A small corner of nature on an irregular polygon-shaped square is located next to the old Melkite rite Greek Catholic Church of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre. She, like the houses on Galand Street, is located on its southern side. In the north, the square is bounded by the Montebello embankment, in the east, the streets of Foir and Lagrange lead to it, and in the west - the rue Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre. The territory of the park also divides Busheri street into the eastern and western parts. An old Double Denier bridge leads from it through the Seine channel to the Ile de la Cité.

Square Rene Viviani is named after the Prime Minister of France, who headed the country's government in 1914-1915. It was inaugurated in 1928. Until 1909, its territory was occupied by the outbuildings of the Hotel-Dieu hospital. Even earlier, buildings of the Priory Saint-Germain complex were located on this site. There was a hospitable house and a refectory of the monastery. From the 6th c. for several centuries, near the walls of the ancient basilica, there was a parish cemetery from the era of the reign of kings from the Merovingian dynasty.

Monuments of nature and culture

This green area in the center of Paris is famous for several interesting historical and natural attractions. The oldest tree in the French capital still grows on its territory. This is a robinia planted by the botanist J. Robin in 1601. The girth of its trunk is about 3,5 m. The height of the old tree is only about 11 m, as it lost the top of its crown during the First World War. The lower mighty branches of the robinia are supported by specially installed concrete pedestals.

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In the square René Viviani there is a bronze fountain Saint-Julien-le-Povre, built here in 1995. To create his sculptural composition, J. Jacclo was inspired by the plot of the legend of St. Julian. According to an ancient text, during a hunt, Satan appeared to him in the form of a wanderer and informed him of his wife's betrayal. Blinded by rage, Julian returns home and, seeing the silhouettes of a man and a woman in the bedroom, kills them. To his despair, he soon learns that it was his father and mother who came to visit. All subsequent years, Julian spends in repentance and devotes his time to the construction of hospitals and hospices, thanks to which he receives forgiveness from Jesus Christ.

An old well dating back to the 12th century has been preserved on the same territory. Fragments of balustrades, capitals of columns, Gothic turrets-pinnacles are picturesquely located in various corners of the square framed by flower beds. They were dismantled in order to be replaced with new ones during the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral by the architect and restorer E. Viollet-le-Duc and delivered to the square on the other side of the Seine in the 19th century. To the monuments of the 20th century. includes a memorial stele erected in memory of the Jewish children who died during the deportation during World War II.

Getting there

Address: 25 Quai de Montebello, Paris 75005
Metro: Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame, Maubert Mutualité
RER Train: Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame
Bus: Petit pont
Run time: 8:00-20:30