Place des Vosges

The Place des Vosges (English: " Place of the Vosges ") is a district in Paris in the Marais (3rd and 4th arrondissements ) located place. Among the five " royal courts ", he is the oldest and is considered one of the most beautiful squares in Paris. The square space has the dimensions of 140 × 140 meters.


The course was built on express order of the French King Henry IV as Place Royalle (sic) in the years 1605-1612 and was the first municipal court of Paris. At the double wedding of King Louis XIII. Anne of Austria (1601-1666) and the sister of the King, Elizabeth, the future King Philip IV of Spain he was initiated between 5 and 7 April 1612 exceptionally solemn tournaments. Client Henry IV did not live to the inauguration because he fell on May 16, 1610 assassinated. The marriage contract was signed shortly after the inauguration on August 25, 1612.



While in many European countries including market and church courts to the historic townscape, such plants in northern France are hardly to be found - the cities were very densely built in the rule. However, exceptions are rectangular - arcaded - Place plants in the heart of the late 12th and erected in many parts of Occitania especially in the 13th century bastide, with whom the church is usually not in the center but in a side street. Henry IV stayed before his coronation several times with a friend in Labastide -d'Armagnac to depart from his house he had a view of the square completely regular landscaped and provided with a central fountain; it is speculated that he thereby ultimately got the inspiration for the later construction of the Place Royale.

Plaza Mayor in Madrid

The Spanish monarch Philip II moved in 1561 to the royal court from Toledo to Madrid, leaving the Plaza Mayor built that up to 1619 there from 1580/90 - was completed - as a partial six-story facility and with arcades on the ground floor. It is quite likely that Henry IV was informed of the construction project of its southern neighbors. Only after several fires all homes in Plaza Mayor were limited towards the end of the 18th century in height to four storeys.


Basis of the space design of the Place Royale was a royal pavilion, which was built at the south end of the square in 1604 by Jean Baptist Androuët you Cerceau. All other 35 buildings - with the exception of slightly higher Pavillon du Roi and the Pavillon de la Reine - should follow the same style. For the first time in Europe, all sides of a square were - built with three-storey houses with arcades on the ground floor - based on a unified planning. This total of 36 city palace are all traufständig the center of the square and were designed with facades of red brick in the color effect of the " Brique -et -pierre- facades " that are ultimately in antique Roman tradition. The high roof slopes are broken up by dormer windows. Due to the lateral boundary of the development installation of windows only on the front and back of the house possible. As a responsible architect Claude and Louis Chastillon Métezeau apply. The here - apart from the medieval fortified towns - for the first time realized in France Concept by running arcades on the ground floor served later for his part as a model for the design of many streets and squares all over Europe. A prime example in Paris represents the Napoleon I. conceived Rue de Rivoli, which runs just south of the square.


Henry IV wished for his place - and he is certainly the walled towns similar - a mixed form of use: craft shops or factories on the ground floor, apartments above. But already the first buyers of apartments or of whole houses in the area were members of the nobility, who eventually occupied the entire system. Behind the arches of the ground floor rented a dealer, with all the " necessities " supplied the noble lords.

Equestrian statue

Which are going through the middle of the square small park ( 12,370 m²) was established in 1866. Middle of the square stands an equestrian statue of King Louis XIII. , The son and successor of Henry IV, the first bronze statue from 1639 was destroyed during the French Revolution. The current from 1829 is made ​​of stone and dates from the sculptors Jean -Pierre Cortot and Louis Dupaty.

Names history of the square

The current name, place of the Vosges, the square was the first time in 1800. He was so named because the French département of the Vosges was the first, the revolutionary tax levied at the time had fully paid. After the return of the Bourbons in the years 1814/15 and again from 1852 to 1870 the place was returned to its original name, but from 16 September 1870, he finally called the Place des Vosges.

Name of the place through the centuries:

  • July 1605: Place Royale ( "Place Royalle " )
  • August 19, 1792: Place of Fédérés
  • July 4, 1793: Place de l' Indivisibilité
  • 1793 Place du Parc- d'Artillerie
  • 1793: Place de la Fabrication of the arm
  • September 13, 1800: Place des Vosges
  • April 27, 1814 Place Royale
  • 1830: Place de la République
  • March 14, 1848: Place des Vosges
  • 1852: Place Royale
  • September 16, 1870: Place des Vosges

Prominent residents

  • In house No. 1a Madame de Sévigné was born on February 6, 1626 as Marie de Rabutin -Chantal. She lived there until her 10th year in 1636. Aged 17, she married the Marquis Henri de Sévigné. World famous, she was by his correspondence with her ​​daughter, Françoise Marguerite de Grignan, in which she describes over 25 years of life at the court of Louis XIV in detail.
  • The house at No. 21 was - according to some sources - inhabited by the end of 1622 to 1625 by Cardinal Richelieu. In the courtyard of the house to have lived in the year 1877 the writer Alphonse Daudet.
  • The second floor of the house No. 6 (Hôtel Guéménée ) lived from 1832 to 1848 the writer Victor Hugo. On June 30, 1903, dedicated to him and his work Museum Maison de Victor Hugo was set up in this house.
  • The second floor of the house No. 8 lived from 1828 to 1834, the writer Théophile Gautier. Later it moved in the writer Alphonse Daudet.


About the same time was built with the Place des Vosges in Charleville- Mézières, the rectangular Place Ducale. Both court systems are similar to a large extent, which is probably due primarily to the fact that two of the architects responsible brothers. The principal of the Place Ducale was Charles de Gonzague, a nephew of Henry IV and the Duke of Nevers and Rethel.