Place des Vosges - Table of Contents   ........................    Architecture Around the World

2001 photos - Place des Vosges
(pronounced plahss day vohjj)
Paris, France

The site was originally occupied by the Hôtel des Tournelles.

Henry II was an avid hunter and a participant in jousts and tournaments. On June 30, 1559, at the Place des Vosges in Paris, during a match to celebrate the Peace Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis with his longtime enemies, the Habsburgs of Austria and to celebrate the marriage of his daughter Elizabeth of Valois to King Philip II of Spain, King Henry was mortally wounded by a sliver from the shattered lance of Gabriel Montgomery, captain of the King's Scottish Guard. Henry's widow, Catherine de Medicis, had the Gothic pile demolished, and she removed to the Louvre.

Originally known as the Place Royale, the Place des Vosges was built by Henry IV from 1605 to 1612. A true square (140 m x 140 m), it embodied the first European program of royal city planning. It is now the oldest square in Paris. The square symmetry of the square, with its ground floor arcade, consists of 39 houses - each made of red brick with stone facings.

The project was probably designed by Baptiste du Cerceau, and originally named the Place Royale. The king's and queens pavilions were the center south and north gateways respectively.

The square acquired its present name in 1799 when the Department of the Vosges (near the southwestern German border) was the first to pay its taxes associated with particular military campaigns of that time.


See also:

Henry IV ........  Renaissance style.

Slate roof

Round pedimented  dormers  ..........   S-scroll column shafts

Photos and their arrangement © 2001 Chuck LaChiusa
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