Place Vendome (Paris)

Vendome square (in French, Place Vendôme), formerly known as Louis the Great (Louis-le-Grand), is a square in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, located north of the Tuileries Gardens and east of the Madeleine Church (Église de la Madeleine). ). This is the starting point of Peace Street (Rue de la Paix). The traditional architecture of Jules Hardouin-Mansart and the bevelled pedimented screens give the rectangular Place Vendôme an octagonal appearance. The original Vendôme Column in the center of the square was erected by Napoleon I to commemorate the Battle of Austerlitz; it was demolished on May 16, 1871 by decree of the Paris Commune, but subsequently restored and remains a prominent element of the square today.

Place de la Vendome in Paris

Vendome Square and Pillar

History. Place Vendôme was begun in 1698 as a monument to the glory of the armies of Louis XIV, Grand Monarch, and was called at first “Place des Conquêtes”, only to be renamed “Place Louis le Grand” when the conquests proved temporary. A life-size equestrian statue of the king, created by François Girardon (1699), was donated by the city authorities and installed in its center. It is believed to be the first large modern equestrian statue cast in one piece. It was destroyed during the French Revolution; however, the Louvre has a smaller version. This led to the popular joke that while Henry IV lived among the people at Pont Neuf and Louis XIII among the aristocrats at the Place des Vosges, Louis XIV preferred the company of the tax farmers at the Place Vendôme; each of them reflects the group they prefer in life. On the site of the square, there used to be the possessions of Caesar de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, the illegitimate son of Henry IV and his mistress Gabrielle d’Estre. Hardouin-Mansart bought the building and its gardens with the idea of ​​turning it into building plots as a lucrative speculation, resale. The plan did not come to fruition, and Louis XIV’s finance minister, Louvois, bought a piece of land with the aim of building a square modeled after the successful Place des Vosges of the last century. Luvois ran into financial difficulties and nothing came of his project either. After his death, the king bought the site and commissioned Hardouin-Mansart to design the facade of the house, which the buyers of the plots around the square would agree to adhere to. When public finances dried up, financier John Law took on the project, building himself a residence behind one of the fronts, and the square was completed by 1720, when his Mississippi bubble burst. Law suffered a severe financial blow when he was forced to pay tens of millions of dollars in taxes. Unable to pay such an amount, he was forced to sell the property he owned in the square. The buyers were members of the exiled branch of the House of Bourbon Condé, who later returned to the province to reclaim their lands in the city of Vendôme itself. Between 1720 and 1797 they acquired a large part of the area, including the ownership of part of the site on which the Ritz Paris now stands, and they still own the property. Their intention to restore the family palace on this site depended heavily on the possible desires of the neighboring Ministry of Justice to expand its premises.
From 1764 to 1771, the Foire Saint-Ovide Theater settled on this site.
When France established diplomatic relations with the short-lived Republic of Texas, the Texan Legation was based at the Bataille de Francès Hotel at 1 Place Vendôme.
Vendôme column. The original column was begun in 1806 at the direction of Napoleon and completed in 1810. It was modeled after Trajan’s column in honor of the victory at Austerlitz; its facing of 425 spiral bronze plates with bas-reliefs was made from cannons taken from the combined armies of Europe, according to propaganda (usually the figure given is greatly exaggerated: only 180 cannons were actually captured at Austerlitz) were designed by the sculptor Pierre-Nolasque Bergeret (Pierre-Nolasque Bergeret ) and executed by a team of 30 sculptors including Jean-Joseph Foucou, Louis-Simon Boiseau, François Joseph Bosio, Lorenzo Bartolini, Claude Remy, François Rude, Corbet, Claudion, Julie Charpentier and Henri-Joseph Foucou, Louis -Simon Boizot, François Joseph Bosio, Lorenzo Bartolini, Claude Ramey, François Rude, Corbet, Clodion, Julie Charpentier, and Henri-Joseph Ruxthiel). At the top of the column was a statue of Napoleon by Antoine-Denis Chaudet. Napoleon is depicted dressed in Roman clothes, bareheaded, crowned with laurels, holding a sword in his right hand, and a globe crowned with a statue of Victory in his left hand (like Napoleon in the role of Mars the peacemaker).
Russian army and the allies. In 1816, taking advantage of the Allied occupation forces, a mob of men and horses attached a cable to the neck of the statue of Napoleon at the top of the column, but it refused to budge – one woman joked: “If the emperor is so stable on his throne, and this statue is on its column, he cannot step down from the throne.” After the Bourbon restoration, the statue, although not the column itself, was destroyed and melted down to provide bronze for the converted equestrian statue of Henry IV on the Pont Neuf (as was the bronze from the sculptures on the Grand Army Column in Boulogne-sur-Mer), although the statuette The victories can still be seen in Napoleon’s Salon at the Hôtel des Monnaies (which also contains a model of the column and an image of Napoleon’s face copied from his death mask). However, Louis Philippe erected a new statue of Napoleon in modern dress (hat with two horns, boots and redingote) and a better, more classic one under Louis Napoleon (later Napoleon III).
The Paris Commune and the end of the Vendôme column.
Regardless of the political assessment of Karl Marx’s theory, one thing is certain: he predicted the collapse of the Vendôme Column long before it happened. This prediction was given by him in the political pamphlet “Le 18 Brumer de Louis Bonaparte” of 1852. This pamphlet, sharply criticizing the political figure of Napoleon III, ends with the words: “But if the imperial mantle finally falls on the shoulders of Louis Bonaparte, the bronze statue of Napoleon will fall from a height Vendôme Column.
During the events on the eve of the founding of the Commune on March 22, 1871, disturbances occurred outside the premises of the National Guard, when demonstrators with posters proclaiming them “Friends of the World” were prevented from entering the Place Vendôme by the guards, who, after shelling, opened fire on the crowd. At least 12 people were killed and many more injured. During the Paris Commune in 1871, the artist Gustave Courbet (Courbet), President of the Federation of Artists and an elected member of the Commune, who had previously expressed his concern that this war monument was located on the Rue de la Paix, suggested that The column was dismantled and preserved in the Les Invalides (Army Museum). His draft, as proposed, was not accepted, although a law was passed on 12 April 1871 allowing the removal of the imperial symbol. When the column was demolished on May 16, its bronze plates were preserved. After using a series of ropes and quarry workers, observers saw that the statue … “fell on a pile of sand prepared for this with a powerful roar. There was no impact on the ground, but the column split shortly before its fall and lay on the ground in a huge mass of ruins. Enormous dust and smoke from the stones and crumpled clay rose, and a moment after a crowd of men, National Guardsmen, Communards and one Englishman looking at the sights, swooped down on him, began to collect particles as souvenirs, but the excitement was so intense, that people were moving as if in a dream.”
After the suppression of the Paris Commune by Adolphe Thiers, it was decided to restore the column with the statue of Napoleon restored on its top. For his role in the Commune, Courbet was sentenced to pay the cost of restoring the monument, estimated at 323,000 francs, in annual installments of 10,000 francs. Unable to pay, Courbet voluntarily went into exile in Switzerland, the French government confiscated and sold the artist’s paintings for a small sum, and Courbet died in exile in December 1877. In 1874, the column was re-erected in the center of Place Vendôme with a copy of the original statue upstairs. The inner staircase leading to the summit is no longer open to the public.

Description and the features. At the center of the square’s long sides, the Corinthian pilasters of Hardouin-Mansart jut forward below the pediment, creating palatial façades. The arcades of the formally rusticated ground floors do not provide an arcade passage, as in the Place des Vosges. The architectural connection of windows from one floor to another and the increasing arch of their window openings create an upward spring for the horizontals formed by the rows of windows. Initially, the square was accessible from one street and maintained an aristocratic silence, except when the annual fair was held here. Then Napoleon opened the Rue de la Paix and in the 19th century the Place Vendôme was filled with traffic. Only after the opening in 1875 of the Palais Garnier on the other side of the Rue de Pais did the center of fashionable life in Paris begin to move towards the Rue de la Paix area and Place Vendôme.

Paris travel guide and private sightseeing tours

Place Vendôme, panoramic view

Hotels, buildings, shops:
House N°1 : Hôtel Batailhe de Frances
N°3 : Hôtel de Coëtlogon
N°5 : Hotel d’Orsigny
N°7 : … Lebas de Montargis
N°9 : … de Villemare
N°11 : … de Simiane
N°13 : de Bourvallais
N°15 : de Gramont
N°17 : de Crozat
N°19 : d’evreux
N°21 : de Fontpertuis
N°23 : de Boullongne
N°2 : Marquet de Bourgade
N°4 : Heuzé de Vologer
N°6 : Thibert des Martrais
N°8 : Delpech de Chaunot
N°10 : de Latour-Maubourg
N°12 : Baudard de Saint-James
N°14 : de La Fare
N°16 : Moufle
N°18 : Duche des Tournelles
N°20 : de Parabere
N°22 : de Segur
N°24 : de Boffrand
N°26 : de Noce
N°28 : Gaillard de la Bouëxière
How to get there by yourself.
The nearest metro stations are Opéra, Pyramides, Madeleine and Tuileries.

Private guided sightseeing tour by a car or selfguided.
Usually, the initial acquaintance with Place Vendéme, its column and the history of its famous hotels begins with an private sightseeing tour with a professional English-speaking guide, and later visit it on your own during a walking self-guided walk in the Opera and Boulevards area.