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Place des Vosges is located in the heart of the trendy district of Le Marais, a few steps from the Opera Bastille. King Henry IV of France decided to build it at the beginning of the XNUMXth century.
Place des Vosges has brick and stone architecture unique in Paris. It also has a homogeneous square design and pretty arcades and, in the beautiful square, there are large and relaxing gardens.
Place des Vosges is an excellent starting point for a visit to the Le Marais district and to do some shopping in the shops of rue des Francs-Bourgeois. The square can be reached on foot from the Pompidou Center (15 '), Bastille Opera (5') and Notre-Dame (20 ').
At number 6 of the square is the house where Victor Hugo lived and which houses the museum dedicated to him.
The topics of Place des Vosges, Marais, Paris:
- 1 Brief history of the square and architecture
- 2 What to see in Place des Vosges and what to do
- 2.1 The central gardens
- 2.2 Museo in Victor Hugo
- 2.3 Academy of Architecture
- 3 Shopping
- 4 How to get there
- 5 Tour del Marais
- 6 Map: what to see nearby
Brief history of the square and architecture
The famous Place des Vosges boasts the oldest project among the Parisian squares, and it is certainly one of the most beautiful in the capital. It is located in the lively Marais district, and owes its current name to Napoleon Bonaparte, who in 1799 decided to abolish the old wording "Place Royale", in honor of the French Revolution.
Il name comes from the Vosges region, on the border with Germany and Luxembourg, which was the first to pay taxes to the new government.
The Place des Vosges is an admirable example of 17th century architecture: it was commissioned by Henry IV of Bourbon, known as Henry the Great, and was inaugurated in 1612, two years after the king's death. It is a square with a square plan, with a side of 140 meters.
On each side an identical building stands and is one of the first examples of rationality in urban planning in the whole of France. The buildings are equipped with arcades at street level: this feature, also present in Italian cities of the municipal era, allows walks in any season of the year and in all weather conditions, and are animated by countless shops and typical restaurants. The facades rise in white stone and red bricks and are dominated by very high roofs in dark blue slate, with dormers, which give a decisive and unmistakable character to the architecture of the entire square.
In the center of the Place des Vosges an elegant garden stands out adorned with flowers, trees, hedges, fountains, minimal street furniture, dominated by the equestrian statue of Louis XIII. Its particular “closed square” conformation makes it one of the most elegant, exquisite and romantic places in all of Paris.
What to see in Place des Vosges and what to do
The central gardens
Magnificent and unmissable especially in the summer, they are the ideal place for walks, picnics, relaxing moments of refreshment shared by Parisians and visitors from all over the world. The beauty of the square has attracted many historical and artistic personalities from every era, and the most famous of these houses is today a delightful and highly original museum.
Museo in Victor Hugo
The museum was housed in the original apartment where Victor Hugo lived between 1932 and 1948, called Maison Victor Hugo, inside one of the 4 identical buildings that surround the square.
Academy of Architecture
The famous Academy of Architecture of the Place des Vosges is the main Parisian institution for promoting high-quality architecture, managing spaces and encouraging teaching of the fine arts. It brings together 300 members among the best exponents of the sector.
Given the commercial vocation of the oldest Parisian square, shopping on the Place des Vosges is an activity to be taken very seriously. The old boutiques and elegant shops are almost all worth a visit if only for the care and beauty of the regal interiors that distinguish them. It is the ideal place to purchase truly special souvenirs. Some shops are particularly popular:
- The DAMMANN Frères store: this charming shop specializes in the sale of refined and precious teas and herbal blends. The antique-style shelves, the wood and the warm colors of the environment, the sophisticated and welcoming lighting, make it one of the favorite destinations not only for tea lovers!
- Laboratorio di fotografia PhotoProf: this photographic laboratory organizes fun photography courses, workshops and internships. The duration varies from a couple of hours to several days and is an original activity to break up a Parisian vacation and secure an amazing souvenir photo album.
- The art galleries: the arcades of the square host, needless to say, a flourishing selection of art galleries. Here you can immerse yourself in Parisian or exotic canvases, sculptures and installations, modern or ancient. Among the most famous galleries you will find Galeri Modus, a lively modern and contemporary art gallery, Galerie Ariel Sibony, the Galaxie des Artes, Galerie de Medicis, the lively Galerie Estades Paris or the futuristic Art Symbol Gallery.
- Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basques: a perfumery, one of the most typical shops in the capital. Inside Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basques you can find original handcrafted fragrances, from the classic "Orange and Cinnamon" or "Red Fruits" to more particular perfumes, such as "Waxed furniture", "Acqua del Prete" or "Pane di Spices".
How to get there
Metro: Saint-Paul (linea 1)