Place des Vosges, Paris, France

Place des Vosges is one of the most beautiful squares in Paris and also the oldest planned square in Paris. It was originally called Place Royale as it was planned by order of King Henri IV, in 1612. All buildings surrounding the square have the same design, with facades of red bricks and black slate roofs, all the same size except for the King's Pavillion and the Queen's Pavillion, on each side of the square, which are slightly taller. Despite this designation, Queen Anne of Austria, future wife of King Louis XIII,  was the only royal to live in one of the Pavillions (the Queen's), for a short time before her wedding.
Cardinal Richelieu ordered a statue of King Louis XIII to be put in the middle of the square, but it was melted during the revolution. The statue that can be seen today is a copy from 1825.
The square was renamed in 1799 when the Départment des Vosges (a mountainous region in France) became the first to pay taxes, supporting the Revolutionary Army.
The many mansions of the 17th and 18th centuries in the square or surroundings have been turned into museums: Museé Picasso, Museé Carnavalet and the House of Victor Hugo (where he lived). In the arcades, there are coffee shops and restaurants.

How to go: Saint-Paul or Bastille metro stations.


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