Equestrian statue of Louis XIII in the center of Place des Vosges

Designed in 1612 by Louis Métézeau, at the request of Henri IV, this square is the oldest in Paris, just before Place Dauphine, on the Île de la Cité. Straddling the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, it was first named Place Royale.

Henri IV, whose bust can be seen on a facade of the Pavillon du Roi, which is located in the axis of rue de Birague (formerly rue Royale), never lived there. The Queen's Pavilion is on the other side.

The square was inaugurated under Louis XIII, whose equestrian statue occupies the center

During the French Revolution, it was successively renamed “place des Fédérés”, “place du Parc-d’Artillerie”, “place de la Fabrication-des-Armes” and “place de l’Indivisabilité”. In 1800, under the Consultat, Napoleon Bonaparte renamed it “Place des Vosges” in honor of the Vosges department, the first to have paid tax under the French Revolution.

The return of the monarchy gave it its initial name of “Place Royale” from 1814 to 1830 and from 1952 to 1870. It also briefly, in 1830, was called “Place de la République”.

Place des Vosges has a twin, Place Ducale located in Charleville-Mézières.

Text: Katia Barillot
Photos: ©Anaïs Costet

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