Place Vendome in Paris
Octagonal Place Vendome is located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris at the beginning of Rue de la Paix, north of the Tuileries Garden and east of the Church of Saint Madeleine. This is one of the most famous and beautiful squares of Paris. It has a great historical and architectural significance, cultural – nowadays, contemporary artists arrange performances, cinematographic – this is the name of the famous 1998 film with Catherine Deneuve. Vendome Square is chic and beautiful. It is decorated with boutiques of luxury brands and expensive hotels, including the Ritz, in which Chanel, Hemingway and Lady Di lived. Here is the Ministry of Justice.
The area began to be built in 1699 by the project of architect Jules Arduen-Mansart in honor of the “Sun King” Louis XIV. The buildings surrounding the square are built in the style of classicism. Their ensemble was completed only in 1720. The fact is that Louis XIV spent a lot of money on the construction of Versailles. In parallel, France waged many wars, which required huge sums for the maintenance of the army. The Sun King constantly lacked money for the construction of the Place Vendome, so for a long time only the facades of the houses, behind which there was nothing, stood around the statue. In the center of the square was decorated with an equestrian statue of Louis XIV, which was destroyed during the revolution. Named in honor of the palace of Cesar de Vendome (illegitimate son of Henry IV the Great), which was previously located on the site of the square.
Initially, the square, which only one street went, was a quiet aristocratic district (except for the days when the annual fair was held). Then Napoleon laid Rue de la Paix, and in the 20th century, the Place Vendome became a place with heavy traffic. In the new century, the movement on Vendome Square has once again become unhurried.
Vendome column created on the model of the Trojan column. Its height is 44 meters, the lining of 425 spiral bronze bas-reliefs was cast from tools captured from the combined armies of the British and Russian after the battle of Austerlitz. The bas-reliefs were created by the sculptor Pierre-Nolas Bergere. On the column was placed a statue of Napoleon crowned with a laurel wreath, holding a sword in his right hand and a globe with a statue of Victory in his left.
After the Restoration of the Bourbons, the statue was dropped and melted, and from the obtained bronze the equestrian statue of Henry IV, mounted on the Pont Neuf Bridge, was re-cast. Later, however, King Louis-Philippe ordered a new statue of Napoleon in modern clothes (a three-cornered hat, boots and a redingot), more magnificent in the king’s opinion, to be mounted on the column.
On April 12, 1871, the government allowed the imperial symbol to be dismantled. The column was destroyed on May 8, retaining bronze plates with bas-reliefs. Under the pressure of Adolf Thiers, the Paris Commune decided to restore the column with the statue of Napoleon. Gustav Courbet, who initiated the demolition of the monument, was obliged to pay part of the costs. Unable to pay Courbet went to a voluntary exile in Switzerland.
In 1998, Nicole Garcia shot the film “Place Vendome” with Catherine Deneuve in the lead role. The actress received the main prize of the Venice Festival for this role. The square itself plays an important role in the film, setting off with its architecture and expensive boutiques the drama that unfolds around the diamonds left in a jewelry store on Vendome Square.
How to get there
Place Vendome is located in the heart of Paris, a 10-minute walk from the Louvre. Therefore, walking along the center, you will not miss it. With the help of a special service on the official website of public transport in Paris, you can make your route by public transport from anywhere in the city.
Nearby are several metro stations:
Tuileries Station (Tuileries) Line 1 (500 meters)
Station “Pyramides” (Pyramides) lines 7 and 14 (550 meters)
Station “Opera” (Opera) lines 3, 7, 8 (450 meters)
Station Madeleine (Madeleine) lines 8, 12, 14 (550 meters)