Place des Vosges (originally Place Royale)

begun 1605

Two sides of the square

Built on the site of a former palace, Place des Vosges (Place Royale originally) was a town planning project of Henry IV. Lower-level aristocracy and wealthier bourgeois lived in these row houses surrounding a large square in this fashionable area of 17th century Paris.

Each house consisted of four bays with an arcade at the ground level, "French" windows extending to the floor level on the second and third floors, and dormers at the fourth level. The facade is of stucco and brick.


A corner and a central pavilion

Larger and higher pavilions are at the center of the north and south sides. These more elaborately decorated houses were known as the Pavillion du Roi and the Pavillion de la Reine.

A statue of Louis XIII

In 1639 a bronze statue of Louis XIII was placed in the center of the square--the horse by Daniele da Volterra and figure by Biard the Younger. Melted down during the French Revolution, it has been replaced with a copy.

See also the Bath Circus and the Bath Ellipse for other examples of early town planning.

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Copyright Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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