Place des Vosges

A contrast between the stately Tuileries garden and the neighborhood-based Places des Vosges. While the Tuileries garden is one of the biggest in Paris, the Place des Vosges is a much smaller, quieter environment.

When looking for a garden to contrast the stately Tuileries, almost nowhere is better than the Place des Vosges. While the Tuileries is centrally located in the first arrondissement between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, the Place des Vosges is a little harder to find. Nestled in the Marais district of Paris, it is between the third and fourth arrondissements. Many people likely find the Place des Vosges merely by walking around the Marais district, whereas the Tuileries dominates a large central portion of the city and almost demands people to walk through it.

The Place des Vosges is Paris’s oldest planned square, and is enclosed by red and white brick façades that sit on top of the square’s arches. Built by Henry IV in the early 17th century, it is a true square measuring 140m X 140m. The unity of the stone and brick buildings creates great symmetry for photographing, as well as a pleasing color scheme that pairs nicely with the green of the trees. The only statue in the garden is a bronze figure of Louis XIII placed directly in the center, which is a large contrast from the many statues located throughout the Tuileries. In the past, it has been a place for the French aristocracy to live, and one could argue that it provides the same purpose still today, as it is a highly exclusive and sought-after place to live. Even the smallest apartment available today is well over €1,000,000. It is surely an aristocratic address to have.

Along the outside of the park, art galleries and cafés line the archways, providing a cozy refuge for both tourists and locals. If you walk the circumference of the surrounding square, you can even stumble upon a door that leads you to a hidden secret garden in one of the corners of the square. These types of nooks and crannies available at the Place des Vosges are not so common in the Tuileries, where everything is out in the open.

While it may be easy to find yourself wandering and perhaps a little lost in the Tuileries, this is not the case in the Place des Vosges, as the outside of the park is visible at all times. The Tuileries garden covers a colossal sixty-three acres, while the Place des Vosges almost reaches a mere five acres.

Ultimately, every park or garden serves a unified purpose of relaxing or strolling in a pleasant outdoor space, free of the hustle and bustle of the city. However, it is fascinating to observe the feel that different gardens give to their visitors, based on its size or character. The Place des Vosges certainly gives a more intimate, neighborhood-centered atmosphere when comparing it to the massive and stately garden of the Tuileries. There is no room for ponds or large throngs of tourists walking down the entryways to the garden, nor cafés or Ferris wheels either. All of these things are much more possible in an extensive and grand garden like the Tuileries.

Images

Louis XIII

Louis XIII

The only statue in the Place des Vosges is that of Louis XIII. It stands directly in the center of the park, and consists of the king riding a decorated horse. | Creator: Julia Jane Duggan View File Details Page

Fountain Symmetry

Fountain Symmetry

The Place des Vosges is almost a perfectly symmetrical park, and this same fountain can be found in all four corners. | Creator: Julia Jane Duggan View File Details Page

Shady Paths

Shady Paths

On a bright and sunny day, these trees offer a shady refuge to the visitors of the Place des Vosges. Many people frequent the wide path between the trees to exercise or relax and read. | Creator: Julia Jane Duggan View File Details Page

Street sign

Street sign

The Place des Vosges street sign is placed on one of the archways surrounding the square. A work of pac-man street art by the "Invader" has been created above it. | Creator: Julia Jane Duggan View File Details Page

Archways

Archways

Redbrick and Stone archways create a square around the park. Art galleries and cafes line the square as well. | Creator: Julia Jane Duggan View File Details Page

Door to the Secret Garden

Door to the Secret Garden

This door leads to a separate garden off of the Place des Vosges. It is a special find, even more quiet and quaint than the Place des Vosges itself. | Creator: Julia Jane Duggan View File Details Page

Woman in the Secret Garden

Woman in the Secret Garden

Beautiful trees with purple flowers can be found in the secret garden, as well as some people taking a moment to enjoy the quiet and serene spot. | Creator: Julia Jane Duggan View File Details Page

Royal Houses

Royal Houses

These apartments once housed royals when the Place des Vosges was once built by the aristocracy. The houses are all red-brick and stone, and are some of the most highly sought-after real estate in Paris today. | Creator: Julia Jane Duggan View File Details Page

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Cite this Page:

Julia Jane Duggan, “Place des Vosges,” W&L Paris, accessed May 18, 2022, https://omeka.wlu.edu/wluparis/items/show/36.

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