Place des Vosges square, which in the midst of the Marais district and bordered by the River Seine, is one of the must-visit places when in Paris City. Le Marais was a swampy area in the City of Lights. It now retains the medieval charm of Paris with fashionable boutiques and bars featuring muted limestone and cobblestone alleys. One of its nearby attractions is the Musée du Louvre.
History of Place des Vosges
Napoleon changed Place Royale to Place des Vosges in the early of the 1800’s as a sign of gratitude to the French department Vosges, which was the first one to have paid taxes. It was renamed back to its original name in 1810 and has been known as the Place des Vosges since the 1870’s. Many French noblemen lived in the square, two among them being Richelieu and Hugo.
The square was launched in Paris in 1612 and marked the wedding of Louis XIII of France and Anne of Austria. Little changes have taken place in the square in the centuries since then, except its name. Strolling through the former Place Royale, one comes to know what it takes to share the excitement of being in what was once a royal setting for wedding ceremonies in Paris.
Areas of Interests near Place des Vosges
Maison de Victor Hugo is one of the must-see tourist attractions in the oldest planned square. Hugo wrote some of his popular works including several drafts of Les Misérables in this small apartment turn museum. Its first floor exhibits Hugo’s personal drawings and hosts temporary exhibits from time to time.
The library that features his literary classics can be visited from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm, provided that you take appointments for that. In addition, note that the museum is set to close this April and will reopen the same month in 2019.
Palais-Cardinal or the house of Cardinal Richelieu is another attraction. The French clergyman featured in several versions of the Three Musketeers novel by Alexandre Dumas. The bronze statue of King Louis XIII mounted on a horse was placed on Richelieu’s request in the midst of the square. The equestrian statue of the King was erected during the French Revolution, but a new statue was placed in the same place in the 19th Century.