July 28, 2017

French Friday: La Place des Vosges

July 28, 2017 (209/365)

« Sous les arcades, les oiseaux s’évadent, 
les couleurs paradent, les passants bavardent. » ~ Rolande Causse

The Place des Vosges, in the Marais, is the oldest planned square in Paris. Originally known as the Place Royale, the Place des Vosges was built by Henri IV from 1605 to 1612. Actually a true square (140 m × 140 m), its architecture and gardens are some of the most beloved in Paris. What was new about the Place Royale in 1612 was that the façades were all built to the same design of red brick with strips of stone quoins over vaulted arcades set upon square pillars. The steeply-pitched blue slate roofs feature dormers that stand upon the cornices. Two pavilions rise higher than the unified roofline at center the north and south façades -- the Pavilion of the King and the Pavilion of the Queen. Although no royalty ever lived there, the Place des Vosges was home to writers Madame de Sevigné (No. 1bis), Victor Hugo (No. 6), Théophile Gauter (No. 8), as well as Cardinal Richelieu (No. 21) and other noted residents. Le Pavillion de la Reine (No. 28) is now a palace hotel (#bucketlist).