Résumé

For more information click on Place des Vosges square in english or/ou Place des Vosges en français.
The Place-des-Vosges square is the jewel of the Marais district  in Paris. It is also the oldest square in Paris, just before the Place Dauphine (near the Pont-Neuf - See our "Stroll ..."). Started in 1605 (finished in 1612, 2 years after the assassination of Henri IV , on the occasion of the engagement of his son Louis XIII and Anne of Austria), it is the twin sister of the Place Ducale of Charleville-Mézières built in 1606.
It owes its existence to a fatal accident: on June 20, 1559, during a tournament in which he participated to celebrate the marriage of his daughter (Elizabeth) with Philip II of Spain, King Henry II of France was seriously injured by a shard of spear received in the head. He died 20 days later.

Localisation
Access

Metro (Subway): line 8 (Chemin Vert station)
RER :
Bus : 29, 69, 76, 96, Balabus
Parking: quite a few nearby

Address

Place des Vosges
75004 PARIS
Architectes : Louis Métezeau, Androuet du Cerceau et Claude Chastillon

48.85568197046134, 2.365601700429461  OK

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ', ") 48° 51′ 20.34″ N 2° 21′ 55.77″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85609 2.36503
Description complète

The Place-des-Vosges square is the jewel of the Marais district, which nevertheless does not lack attractions!

It is also the oldest square in Paris, just before the Place Dauphine (near the Pont-Neuf). Started in 1605 (finished 2 years after the assassination of Henri IV in 1612, on the occasion of the engagement of his son Louis XIII and Anne of Austria), it is the twin sister of the Place Ducale of Charleville-Mézières built in 1606.

Its origin: a tragic royal accident

It owes its existence to a fatal accident: on June 20, 1559, during a tournament in which he participated to celebrate the marriage of his daughter (Elizabeth) with Philip II of Spain, King Henry II was seriously injured by a shard of spear received in the head. He died at the Hotel des Tournelles (present location north of the Place des Vosges) in excruciating pain on July 10, 1559. His widow, Catherine de Médicis, abandoned this royal residence which was transformed into a gunpowder depot and then sold to finance the construction of an Italian-style palace, the Tuileries.

A false start with a silk thread factory

In August 1603, Henri IV tried to reuse part of the remaining buildings to create a silk, gold and silver thread factory, which failed despite the two hundred Italian workers who worked there.

The definitive devolution that leads to its current appearance

On March 4, 1604, Henri IV wrote an edict donating a 6,000 toises parcel to the main nobles so that they could build pavilions there, on the condition that they respect the layout designed by the architects Androuet II du Cerceau and Claude Chastillon, the materials to be used and the main dimensions.

The Revolution only re-baptized it several times

During the French Revolution, the Place-des-Vosges square was successively renamed "Place des Fédérés", "Place du Parc d'Artillerie", "Place de la Fabrication-des-Armes" and "Place de l'Indivisibilité". In 1800, it was renamed "Place des Vosges" in honor of the Vosges department, the first to pay taxes during the French Revolution.

Organization of the Place-des-Vosges square

Place-des-Vosges square is an almost square square (127 by 140 meters), lined with two-story red brick apartment buildings with white limestone quoins and steep blue slate roofs, with small-paned windows, of a great unity of presentation. The royal edict of the 17th century imposed the unity of the composition of the buildings and the uniform height, with the exception of the king's pavilion, in the center of the south side (the highest of all) and the queen's pavilion, which faces it on the north side, which are deliberately higher. The present pavilions are four bays wide, consisting of a first floor with arcades, two square floors and two attic floors.

The center of the Place-des-Vosges square is occupied today by the Square Louis-XIII, lined with rows of trees, with four fountains in the middle of lawns and an equestrian statue of Louis XIII. This statue, the work of Charles Dupaty, and which was finished by Jean-Pierre Cortot was installed in 1825. The first statue dating from 1639 was destroyed during the Revolution.

An XXL choir for the Place-des-Vosges square

In the 1830's, Charles Sellier, leader of the Céciliens choral society, had the idea of gathering all the Parisian choral societies in order to give the City of Paris a formidable aubade. Five hundred singers answer his call and gather at the Place Royale. The gigantic concert obtained a prodigious success and it is in the middle of the applause and the vivats that the orpheonists take leave of their amazed listeners.

Place-des-Vosges: an address for wealthy people

Many personalities have lived in Place-des-Vosges square: Georges Simenon, Colette, Victor Hugo, Annie Girardot and many others. Today, famous names live there or did so recently: Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his ex-wife Anne Sinclair, Jack Lang, etc.

The list of hotels on the odd side of Place-des-Vosges square

N°1 : the King's Pavilion
Built at the expense of the crown and completed in 1608, the King's pavilion was never inhabited by the king, but by his janitor. It was rented out from 1666, and was sold as national property in 1799. This pavilion is crossed on the first floor by the rue de Birague.

N°1 bis : Hôtel Coulanges
Hotel built in 1606 for Philippe de Coulanges and his wife Marie de Bèze. Their granddaughter, Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, future marquise de Sévigné was born there on February 5th 1626. The post-impressionist painter Georges Dufrénoy (1870-1943) lived there from 1871 to 1914, when he moved to No. 23 of the same square.

N°3 : Hôtel de Montmorin
Hotel of Simon le Gras de Vaubercey, secretary of the commands of Anne of Austria. The library of the Central Union of Decorative Arts was installed there before 1904. The actor Jean Claude Brialy lived there until 1984.

N°5 : Hôtel de la Salle
Hotel Caillebot de La Salle. Two precious women from the entourage of Marie de Médicis stayed here in 1631: Anne Donie (Madonte) and Madeleine de Souvré (Stéphanie). Jules Cousin, to whom we owe the Carnavalet museum and the historical library of the city of Paris, died here in 1899.

N°7 : Hôtel de Sully
Place de la Bastille - Hôtel de Sully

The garden of the Hôtel de Sully communicates with the Place des Vosges.
The hotel was built by the widow of the Master of Requests Huaut de Montmagny in 1611 and is known as the Hôtel de Sully. It communicated with the large hotel at 62, rue Saint-Antoine. This hotel became the property of Sully in 1634, who gave it his name.

N°9 : Hôtel de Chaulnes
Hotel of the king's advisor Pierre Fougeu-Descures where Louis XIII stayed during the inauguration of the Place Royale. It belonged to the Duke of Chaulnes (1676-1744). The tragedian Rachel lived on the second floor of the building. The façade on the square, the gallery, the roof, the decoration of a large living room, the door tops and a fireplace are classified as historical monuments. The first floor is currently the headquarters of the Academy of Architecture.

N°11 : Hôtel Pierrard
This hotel also belonged to Pierre Fougeu-Descures, who had Marion Delorme as a tenant between 1639 and 1648. The hotel belonged to Jean-Baptiste Colbert de Saint-Pouange, then to his nephew Pierre Colbert de Villarcef, then to Gilbert Colbert, Marquis de Chabannais.

N°13 : Hôtel Dyel des Hameaux
Hotel of Antoine de Rochebaron (1601-1669) built around 1630, it belonged to the Duke Louis de Rohan-Chabot from 1680 and remained in his family until its sale in 1764 to François Prévost.

N°15 : Hôtel Marchand
This hotel was bought in 1701 by the Duke Louis de Rohan-Chabot. The Central Union of Applied Fine Arts, founded in 1864, had its headquarters here, a museum, a library and a conference room.

N°17 : Hôtel de Chabannes
Hotel of the civil lieutenant and president of the investigations Nicolas le Jay. Bossuet was a tenant from 1678 to 1682.

N°19 : Hôtel de Montbrun
This hotel was bequeathed in 1852 to the Assistance publique - Hôpitaux de Paris. The façade on the square was redone in 1921.

N°21: Hôtel du Cardinal de RichelieuPlace de la Bastille - Hôtel de Richelieu
Hotel where the cardinal of Richelieu seems not to have lived. The hotel was however bought by Robert Aubry in 1610 who lodged the marshal of Brézé, brother-in-law of the cardinal. The Marshal-Duke of Richelieu, great-nephew of the cardinal, bought it in 1659 for 167,000 pounds. He enlarged it by buying the neighboring hotel from the Prince of Guise, whose daughter he married in 1734. The Grand Duchess of Tuscany died there in 1721. Alphonse Daudet would have lived in the courtyard in 1877.

N°23 : Hôtel de Bassompierre
This hotel was inhabited by Marie Touchet from 1614 until her death in 1638. Her youngest daughter, Marie-Charlotte de Balzac d'Entragues (sister of Catherine Henriette de Balzac d'Entragues) bought it in 1624. Her son, Louis II de Bassompierre, bishop of Saintes, sold it in 1665 to the Hôtel-Dieu, which rented it. The hotel was attached to the Hotel Richelieu (21, place des Vosges) in 1734.

N°25 : Hôtel de l’Escalopier
Hôtel du conseiller d’État Pierre Gobelin du Quesnoy. Il tenta d’incendier son pavillon par dépit amoureux pour Mademoiselle de Tonnay-Charente, la future Madame de Montespan. Il le loua ensuite aux Maillé-Brézé, et le vendit en 1694 au conseiller au parlement Gaspard de l’Escalopier.

The list of hotels on the even side of Place-des-Vosges square

N°2 : Hotel Genou de Guiberville
The old hotel Genou de Guiberville.

N°4 : Hôtel du 4 place des Vosges
In 1605, Noël Regnouart, secretary of the King's chamber and close to Sully, bought a plot of land eight toises wide (4 arcades) on the Place Royale and had a house built there. Afterwards, the hotel passed through a multitude of owners, through sales or inheritances.

N°6 : Hôtel de Rohan-Guémené
Hôtel de Rohan-Guémené, on the second floor of which is the 280 m2 apartment that Victor Hugo occupied from 1832 to 1848. The building was transformed in 1902 into a museum - the House of Victor Hugo - which welcomes an average of 160,000 visitors per year. The entrance to the permanent collections is free since December 2001. See ...

N°8 : Hôtel de Fourcy
The former Hôtel de Fourcy has been classified as a historical monument since October 26, 1954.

N°10 : Hôtel de Châtillon
The former hotel of Châtillon (or hotel of Marie de Lyonne or Gagny or Chatainville) is the subject of a classification as a historical monument since July 17, 1920.

N°12 : Lafont Hotel
The former Lafont or Breteuil hotel (or Dangeau or Missan or Sainson hotel) has been classified as a historical monument since October 26, 1954.

N°14 : Hôtel de Ribault
Place de la Bastille - Place des Vosges. East side
By Thierry Bézecourt via Wikimedia Communs

The hotel de Ribault, or formerly de Langres, is the subject of a classification as a historical monument since October 26, 1954.

Rabbi David Feuerwerker, a military medalist, who distinguished himself by his commitment to the resistance and his community, lived there with his family from 1948 to 1966.

N°16 : Hotel d'Asfeldt
The old hotel d'Asfeldt is classified as a historical monument since August 16, 1955.

N°18 : Hôtel de Clermont-Tonnerre
The former hotel de Clermont-Tonnerre has been classified as a historical monument since October 26, 1954.

N°20 : Hôtel d'Angennes de Rambouillet
The old hotel d'Angennes de Rambouillet is the subject of a classification as a historical monument since August 16, 1955.

N°22 : Laffemas Hotel
The former hotel de Laffemas is the subject of a classification as a historical monument since July 17, 1920.

N°24 : Hôtel de Vitry
The former hotel de Vitry (also called hotel de Guiche, de Boufflers, de Duras or Lefebvre-d'Ormesson) has been classified as a historical monument since July 17, 1920.

N°26 : Hôtel de Tresmes
The former hotel de Tresmes (also called hotel de Gourgues) has been classified as a historical monument since November 14th 1956.

N°28 : Hôtel d'Espinoy and Pavillon de la Reine
It is diametrically opposed to the King's pavilion. A passage located on the first floor connects the Place des Vosges to the Rue de Béarn.

This walk is over. We hope you have enjoyed it. Don't forget that many other guided walks are available on our website by clicking here.

Les commerces, ouverts le dimanche, participent à l’animation du lieu. La place est le point de départ idéal d’une promenade dans le Marais, l’un des quartiers historiques les plus charmants de la capitale, pour les trésors patrimoniaux qu’il abrite et l’ambiance qu’il dégage. Les nombreux hôtels particuliers des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles ont été transformés en musées de renommée internationale : musée Picasso Paris, musée Carnavalet, maison de Victor Hugo… La rue des Rosiers, épicentre de la communauté juive parisienne, est à découvrir pour son atmosphère, ses boutiques et ses restaurants. Et on ne compte plus les bars et les clubs qui font du Marais le plus grand quartier gay de France.

Continuer la promenade en allant vers la Bastille (Voir promenade XXX) ou emprunnter la promenade vers Musée Pompidou (Promenande YYY) ou emprunter la promenade vers Htel de Ville (ZZZ) ou vers le Musée des Arts et Métiers.

N’oubliez pas aussi de nous faire part de vos commentaires (Cliquez ici), vous avez aimé ou pas, vous avez découvert des erreurs de notre part (Cela peut aussi nous arriver) : n’hésitez pas à nous le dire afin d’améliorer la qualité et la justesse de nos promenades guidées.

 

 

 

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