Place des Vosges

Highly recommended
This vast square, probably conceived by Métezeau, was the wish of Henri IV. When completed in 1612, the Place Royale became the centre of elegant life, with carrousels and pleasure. The square got its present name in 1800 in honour of the département which was first to pay its taxes. The square contains 36 pavilions which have kept their original design: alternating stone and false brick facing, arcaded ground floor, with two upper floors crowned by a steep slate roof with garret windows, a rear-courtyard and hidden gardens... In brief, a setting comparable to the great «plazas mayores» of Castillian towns. The soberly-decorated pavilion of the Queen responds symmetrically to the Pavilion of the King. In the centre of the square, a pleasant public garden is a good place to catch the rays of the sun on a fine day... . Unless you prefer the shade of the arcade where from time to time an improvised classical concert takes place, while the windows of the art galleries, or antique shops charm, shock or astonish the passer by ... some of whom will be in search of the shades of the past that inhabit this square:: Madame de Sévigné was born at No. 1 bis, Théophile Gautier and Alphonse Daudet lived at No. 8, Marion Delorme at No. 11, Bossuet at No. 17, Richelieu at No. . 21 (two duellists paid with their life for the insolence of defending their honour beneath his windows when the Cardinal had just prohibited duels). And of course Victor Hugo!

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place des Vosges

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