Place Vendôme

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Will you be up to the challenge ?
  • Number 13

    What can you see at 13, place Vendôme (well, apart from the Ministry of Justice) ?
  • The commemorative plaque of a peculiar embassy

    Okay, so which ex-country has had an embassy at the corner of de Castiglione street and Place Vendôme, where it is commemorated by a plaque ? Tip : it was no longer a country in 1845 but it was, and is, still something you'll certainly have heard about.

The place

Place Vendôme was laid out in 1702 as a monument to the glory of the armies of Louis XIV and called Place des Conquêtes, to be renamed Place Louis le Grand, when the conquests proved temporary.

The site of the square was formerly the hôtel of César, duc de Vendôme, the illegitimate son of Henry IV and his mistress Gabrielle d'Estrées. Louis XIV eventually purchased the plot and commissioned Hardouin-Mansart to design a housefront that the buyers of plots round the square would agree to adhere to. At the centre of the square's long sides, Hardouin-Mansart's range of Corinthian pilasters breaks forward under a pediment, to create palace-like fronts.

Napoleon erected the original column, modelled after Trajan's Column, to celebrate the victory of Austerlitz. After the Bourbon Restoration the statue was pulled down and melted down. A replacement statue of Napoléon, however, was erected by Louis-Philippe and another one by Louis-Napoléon (later Napoléon III).

During the Paris Commune in 1871, the column was taken down but the decision was made to rebuild the column with the statue of Napoléon restored at its apex.

The Place Vendôme has been renowned for its fashionable and deluxe hotels such as the Ritz. Many famous dress designers have had their salons in the square.

Source : Wikipedia contributors, "Place Vendôme"

More info
  • Keith Haring's ashes - Did you know that a handful of American Painter Keith Haring ashes (he died in 1990) were brought place Vendôme by... Yoko Ono ?
  • Audrey Hepburn and the Vendôme column - In the 1957 Billy Wilder movie Ariane (also known as Love in the Afternoon), Audrey Hepburn is looking at the Vendôme column rising up in front of her lover's (Gary Cooper) room at the Ritz hotel... And there are, shall we say, some amusing allusions...
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