Place des Vosges
Place des Vosges, located mostly in the 4th district, was originally called Place Royale. The square was renamed after the French Revolution in the north-east region of Vosges, bordering Germany and Luxembourg, which was the first to pay taxes imposed by the new government. A stroll in the Marais without admiring the place of the Vosges is like a walk on the Champs Elysees without seeing the Arc de Triomphe! The composition of the Place des Vosges epitomizes the classic French style and is a unique example of seventeenth century architecture. Originally the terrace was covered with sand to allow aristocrats to indulge in equestrian exercises. A statue of Louis XIII was erected in the square, then destroyed in 1792 after the fall of the monarchy; it was replaced by an octagonal fountain. It took the early nineteenth century for the royal equestrian statues as well as that of Louis XIII, destroyed during the Revolution, to once again be rebuilt. Place des Vosges is structured around two pavilions, that of the Queen at the north part of the square, and that of the King at the south part. They are not open to the public; however, you can still visit the house of Victor Hugo, author of “Les Miserables”, which is now a municipal museum. It is free and open daily from 9am to 6pm every day except Monday.