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Walking Tour of the Marais Neighborhood


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Place des Vosges
Walking Tour of the Marais Neighborhood

Place des Vosges

©2006 Courtney Traub.


Walk straight across the orangerie and head to the right. A passageway should lead you out of the garden and into a covered gallery-- part of the magnificent Place des Vosges.

An Unparalleled Square

Place des Vosges is quite arguably Paris' most beautiful square. Walking under the covered galleries leading out from the Hôtel de Sully, notice that they are part of an assembly of 36 red brick and stone pavillions surrounding the majestic, tree-shaded square. The Place des Vosges served as royal stomping grounds for centuries. Today it is a wonderful place to unwind, stroll, and dine.

Interesting Facts:

  • The square originally housed the royally-owned Hôtel de Tournelles. Charles VII and Louis XIII both lived at Tournelles.
  • In the early 17th century, Henri IV's demands for an opulent residence within the city lead to the construction of the Place des Vosges, then called the Place Royale.
  • Celebrated author Victor Hugo lived at #6. The Maison Victor Hugo museum dedicated to the writer of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Misérables is located there today.
  • Today, the galleries are occupied by fine art galleries, restaurants that tend toward the pricey, and classical musicians who set up shop and attract large crowds.
  • The small park in the center of the square is one of the few places in Paris where you can sit on the grass, but watch out for signs reading pelouse en repos (the lawn is resting!)-- this means you're temporarily not allowed to sprawl out on the grass.
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