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Place des Vosges
Place des Vosges, Paris (© Bogdan Lazar -
Pavillon de la Reine, Place des Vosges.


Formerly known as Place Royale, this square erected by Henry IV at the heart of the Marais district was renamed Place des Vosges in 1800. Built from 1605 to 1612, it the oldest planned square in Paris and the earliest example of European royal city planning.

The square, which measures 140m on 127m, was modelled on the slightly smaller Place Ducale in Charleville-Mézières. Place des Vosges was designed by Louis Métezeau, the brother of Clément Métezeau, who built its sister square in Charleville one year earlier.

A surprising number of celebrities lived or currently live on Place des Vosges, among whom:

  • Maximilien de Béthune (1560-1641), first Duke of Sully, who was Henri IV's most famous minister, lived at N°7.
  • Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642), 1st Chief Minister of Louis XIII, lived at N°21 from 1615 to 1627.
  • Madame de Sevigné (1626-1696), an aristocrat remembered for her letter-writing, was born at N°1 bis.
  • Marguerite Louise d'Orléans (1645-1721), wife of Grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici, lived at N°15.
  • Victor Hugo (1802-1885), poet and novelist, author of Notre-Dame de Paris and Les Misérables, lived at N°6 from 1832 to 1848.
  • Théophile Gautier (1811-1872), poet, dramatist and literary critic, lived at N°8.
  • Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897), novelist, lived at N°8.
  • Colette (1873-1954), novelist and performer.
  • Georges Simenon (1903-1989), Belgian writer, author of the fictional detective Jules Maigret.
  • Annie Girardot (1931-2011), three-time César Award winning actress.
  • Jack Lang (b. 1939), Socialist politician and former French Culture Minister.
  • Dominique Strauss-Kahn (b. 1949), former IMF director, and his wife Anne Sinclair.
  • Bertrand Delanoë (b. 1950), Mayor of Paris since 2001.

Place des Vosges, Paris (© pixarno -

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