Place Vendôme

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Place Vendôme with the victory column

The Place Vendôme is one of the five “royal squares” of Paris and is located in the middle of the city between the Paris Opera and the Tuileries Gardens in the 1st arrondissement . The square, which was designed in the classicist splendor from the end of the 17th century and framed by splendid townhouses, known as Hôtels particuliers , is nowadays mainly known as the location of the French Ministry of Justice and the Hotel Ritz, as well as for the numerous sales rooms of luxury jewelry and watch manufacturers .


Painting cutout
Louis XIV statue equestre.JPG
Designed in 1692

The equestrian monument of Louis XIV (1699)

Following the example of the Place des Vosges , King Louis XIV planned the construction of another square this time in the 1st arrondissement. The king entrusted the building plans to the famous Parisian master builder Jules Hardouin-Mansart , who envisaged a very sophisticated development. A library, academies and the mint were planned, connected by Corinthian arcades. On the octagonal ground plan planned for the development, there were still two buildings, namely the Capuchin convent (French: Couvent des Capucines ), a nunnery built on June 29, 1604 by Marie de Luxembourg, Duchesse de Mercœur and wife of Cèsar de Vendôme, and the city ​​palace Hotel de Vendôme . The latter was purchased and demolished on July 4, 1685 for 660,000 livres by César de Vendôme , a son of Henry IV . The square was later named after this city palace; but initially it was called Place des Conquêtes (Eng .: Place of Conquest). Both buildings fell victim to the new construction plans; The contractor Jean Masneuf received the demolition contract for 620,000 livres by decree of September 12, 1685. The nuns moved into a building designed by François d'Orbay at the north end of the square on July 26, 1686.

Mansart and Germain Boffrand had façades for 27 buildings erected on the then 152 m wide and 177 m long square - now under the name Place de Louis le Grand . Their properties were to be sold later and then completely built on. However, the construction time was delayed for two reasons. On the one hand, the supervising building minister François Michel Le Tellier de Louvois (Marquis de Louvois) died on July 16, 1691, on the other hand, King Louis XIV had to sell the site to the city of Paris on April 7, 1699 due to financial difficulties. This had new, less ambitious plans drawn up; however, the facade plans were retained. In order to reduce construction costs, instead of the planned arcades, only a round arched arcade with 110 arcades was implemented.

In the middle of the square, a 7 m high equestrian monument designed by François Girardon with the king on a 10 m high pedestal was erected on August 13, 1699 , but it was destroyed on August 7, 1792 during the French Revolution . Between 1699 and October 1, 1701, Masneuf also carried out Mansart's planned perimeter development of the square, for which initially only facade scenes were intended. The implemented square design became the model for most of France's squares. Above a rustic storey with arched openings are two upper storeys, drawn together by a pilaster arrangement and steep pitched roofs with dormers. The middle of the long sides and the corner bevels are slightly accentuated by risalits . The Scottish banker John Law financed large parts of this peripheral development from 1718 and took over house 23 in the same year. However, he had to sell to House Bourbon-Condé in 1720 due to tax debts . By 1797, the Bourbon-Condé family acquired most of the buildings, including the outdoor area on which today's Hôtel Ritz has stood since 1898 . After the revolution, the square was called Place des Piques (after one of the revolutionary sections in Paris).

Barricades and Columns (1871)
Reconstruction of the column in 1873

Since 1799 the square has had its current name, Place Vendôme . On October 1, 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte signed a decree to erect a new column in the square. This time the model was the Trajan Column in Rome. The foundation stone of the 42.97 m high column with Napoleon as emperor was laid on August 25, 1806. The triumphal column (French: Colonne Vendôme ) was cast from 133 (and not as often read 1200) Russian and Austrian cannons, those from Napoleons Victory in the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805 originated. The column has a diameter of 3.65 m and cost 1.5 million livres in construction; its inauguration took place on August 15, 1810. This column did not survive long either. The equestrian monument was melted down as early as 1814 in order to use it to erect an equestrian statue of Henry IV on the Pont Neuf . On March 1, 1833, the replica of the equestrian statue of Napoléon I was inaugurated again. The column was dismantled on May 16, 1871 during the Paris Commune , for which the painter Gustave Courbet , who, as a member of the Commune , had spoken out in favor of moving the column in front of the Hôtel des Invalides , was held responsible. The Communards saw the column as a symbol of tyranny and militarism under Napoleon Bonaparte. This year the place was called Internationale . In May 1873 the column was erected again. From June 3, 1825, the city installed four gas candelabra lanterns to illuminate the square .

On October 17, 1849, Frédéric Chopin died in house number 12, on January 10, 1971, Coco Chanel died of old age in her suite in the Hotel Ritz. The column has been a historical monument since March 31, 1992.

Buildings and use

The structurally almost identical townhouses on Place Vendôme are numbered clockwise in ascending order with the odd numbers from 1 to 23 on the west side and counterclockwise in ascending order on the east side with the even numbers from 2 to 28 all historical names, such as Hôtel de Boullongne (No. 23, now a Cartier boutique) or Hôtel Duché des Tournelles (No. 18, Chanel boutique). In 1939, friends Leo Castelli and René Drouin opened a gallery at Place Vendôme No. 17 ( Hôtel Crozat ) . On the west side of the square is no.15 ( Hôtel de Gramont ), the luxurious Hotel Ritz founded by César Ritz in 1898. It has belonged to the Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed since 1979 . The Ritz also hosted Lady Diana in 1997, before her fatal accident on the way out of the hotel. The hotel's prominent guests included a. Coco Chanel , Ernest Hemingway and Marcel Proust . House number 13, the Hôtel de Bourvallais , has housed the French Ministry of Justice since 1718 . The building originally belonged to Paul Poisson de Bourvallais , accused of fraud , who had to hand it over to the state in 1716 in order not to go to jail on account of debt. Frédéric Chopin died in house number 12 ( Hôtel de Simiane ) . In the same house Napoléon III learned . know his future wife Eugénie de Montijo .

Jewelry stores on the square

From the end of the 19th century, after the Opéra Garnier opened next door in 1875, numerous luxury shops, such as the manufacturer of expensive men's and women's shoes Hellstern & Sons (1900), many jewelry and from the end of the 20th century also watch manufacturers, settled at the Place Vendôme, which are still represented there with their luxurious boutiques: Boucheron (1893), Cartier (1898), Chaumet (1902), Van Cleef & Arpels (1906), Bulgari (1986), Mikimoto (1986), the jewelry - and watch divisions of Chanel (1991), Dior (2001) and Louis Vuitton (2012) as well as the watch manufacturers Piaget (1991), Patek Philippe (1995), Jaeger-LeCoultre , Breguet SA (2006) or Rolex (2008) and others. As of 2012, there were hardly any retail stores from other sectors directly on Place Vendôme, although the Japanese fashion company Comme des Garçons had its headquarters at No. 16 ( Hôtel Moufle ) and in July 2012 at No. 21 ( Hôtel de Fontpertuis ) Schiaparelli boutique (brand owned by Diego della Valle since 2006 ). Until the mid-2000s, Giorgio Armani ran two Armani boutiques on Place Vendôme. There are no restaurants on Place Vendôme except in hotels. Only on the two short street foothills of the square in the north (to Rue des Capucines / Rue Danielle Casanova) and south (to Rue Saint-Honoré) are another hotel ( Hôtel de Vendôme ) and a few fashion shops . The perfume manufacturer Guerlain and the Italian jeweler Damiani also operate boutiques in house number 2 ( Hôtel Marquet de Bourgade ) . Otherwise banks and insurance companies are still based on Place Vendôme. On the south-western side of the square, the Sultan of Brunei owns an entire building complex.

The square is accessible on two lanes to the left and right past the Victory Column between Rue de Castiglione in the south and Rue de la Paix in the north, and in front of the facades of the townhouses there is a one- way street laid out in a quadrangle , which can be driven in one lane counterclockwise all around and enables access to underground garages . These streets are all named Place Vendôme. Otherwise, which is paved and Art Nouveau - streetlights lined space with bollards for cars locked.

Location and importance

The Place Vendôme is connected in the south via the Rue de Castiglione with the Rue Saint-Honoré and its extension Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and the Rue de Rivoli . The Rue de la Paix , which leads to the Paris Opera , begins in the north . Place Vendome is not served directly by the Paris Metro . The stops for Métrolinie 1 ( Concorde ) and Métrolinie 8 ( Madeleine ) are nearby . The square is a shopping street for luxury goods such as the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Rue de Rivoli, which are located nearby .

See also

The rest of the royal squares of Paris:


  • Julia Droste-Hennings, Thorsten Droste : Paris. A city and its myth. DuMont, Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-7701-6090-8 , pp. 292-293.
  • Alexis Gregory: Place Vendôme, Paris. Translated from the French by Annekatrin Gudat. Heyne, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-453-13006-5 .
  • Fritz Stahl : Paris. A city as a work of art. Mosse, Berlin 1929.

Web links

Commons : Place Vendôme  - collection of images, videos and audio files

supporting documents

  1. ^ Henri Sauval : Histoire et recherches des antquités de la ville de Paris , 1724, p. 670.
  2. including a bribe (“pot de vin”) of 60,000 livres
  3. ^ A b Ritter Karl Friedrich von Wiebeking, Theoretical-Practische bürgerliche Baukunde , Volume 4, 1825, p. 132
  4. ^ A. and W. Galignani, The History of Paris , Volume 3, 1832, pp. 26 ff.
  5. Jacques-Antoine Dulaure / Jules Léonard Belin, Histoire physique, civile et morale de Paris , Volume 3, 1839, p. 207
  6. MobileReference, Paris Sights , 2010, o. P.
  7. Also for the other place names: Jacques Hillairet: Connaissance du vieux Paris. Editions Princesse, Paris 1956, p. 218.

Coordinates: 48 ° 52 ′ 3 "  N , 2 ° 19 ′ 46"  E