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Place des Vosges


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Place des Vosges

Translated by Lottie Davies — 10 months ago

Original text by Maika Cano Martínez

The Place des Vosges is located in the Marais district of Paris and straddles the dividing line between the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, just a short distance away from the Place de la Bastille. This is the oldest square in Paris, but not at all the most touristy.

During my first visit to Paris, I didn't go to this square, but it's a good thing that I did the second time because I quite liked it. We ended up going there because we were close to the Bastille and we had a little bit of spare time, but we weren't expecting much from the experience. For some people, the square might not be anything out of this world, but it personally surprised me.

Place des Vosges

Upon arriving at the square, we found ourselves in the middle of a huge open space that was surrounded by lots of buildings that share the same design.

Place des Vosges

We sat down on one of the benches so that we could enjoy the square in peace, and I would highly recommend that you do so too. There weren’t many people about - I think we saw a woman walking her dog and that’s it. In short, it’s like being in Paris for the elegance of the square, but without the crowd of tourists and locals that the city is characterised for. We were feeling really chilled out here! After having made our way around the entire city in two days, it seemed like a good end point for my trip, as I had to go and catch my bus back to Strasbourg. It’s a very Parisian square, yet very different at the same time: it’s like you have travelled back a few centuries in time.

In the past, this was actually a residential square. The famous French writer, Victor Hugo, lived here, who was possibly best known for his work, Les Misérables. Hugo lived at number 6, which, nowadays, can be visited free of charge - unfortunately, I have not yet had the pleasure of doing so. Another very famous individual that lived in this square for some years was Cardinal Richelieu, who resided at number 21. Personally, I know him more from his villainous character in “The Three Musketeers” than from French history. Although, it is said that he wasn’t as evil in real life as he was portrayed to be in the novel (and subsequent film adaptations) and that he was one of the best politicians in France.

Place des Vosges

There are also art galleries and restaurants in the Marais district, which is one of the most cosmopolitan areas in Paris.

Place des Vosges

You can get to the square either on foot from the Bastille or via the metro. The closest metro stops are “Bastille” (served by lines 1, 5 and 8), “Saint-Paul” (line 1) and “Chemin-Vert” (line 8).

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