Among the many tourist attractions in the City of Lights, the Place Des Vosges is a must visit spot during your Paris city tour. The Place des Vosges is a historically rich square situated in the Marais district between the third and fourth arrondissement of Paris. The Place des Vosges was initially called as ‘Palace Royale’ and no wonder, with its valuable treasures, it is widely referred to as ‘the jewel of the Marais district’.
A famous hotel named Hôtel de Tournelles stood in this place, before King Henry IV commissioned French architect Louis Métezeau to build the beautiful square in the early seventeenth century. Unfortunately, the king was assassinated and was not able to see the realization of his design. However, in 1612, his son King Louis XIII took part in the inauguration ceremony of the Palace Royale. Since then, it was noticeable that many house fronts adopted the same design as that of the Place Des Vosges.
The main feature of the Place des Vosges is its perfectly symmetrical square shape of 140 x 140 meters. A slight deviation in the geometry of this square is at the King’s Pavilion and the Queen’s Pavilion. Both of these buildings are one story higher compared to all the other Pavilions in the square. It might be quite surprising to know that King’s Pavilion and Queen’s Pavilion never housed the King or the Queen. Instead, in King’s Pavilion, his concierge lived.
You can notice that there are red brick facades along with many lines of stone wedges when walking along this square and that the slate roofs here are dotted and are very steep. You can also see that the vaulted arcades run over the entire ground floor and link all the pavilions together. Just stroll through these arcades to find many antique shops, good cafes, and art galleries.
When you get to the center part of the square, you can see a sculpture of Louis XIII, with many lime plants and chestnut trees encircling it. This is the point where the path diverges into four sides, having beautiful flowerbeds and a fountain at the center.
Many notable French people lived in this extraordinarily wonderful palace, including Cardinal de Richelieu, Madame de Sévigné, and Victor Hugo. In fact, Hugo’s house at the Place des Vosges is now a museum devoted to French writers and artist. You can even see his collection of personal portraits, drawings, and books in the municipal museum.