Friday, November 16, 2012

Place des Vosges and Victor Hugo's Home | Paris Travel

Windows in a building in place des Vosges.

Our Silver Paris

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where I share our experiences of our special journey to Paris.
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Our last day in Paris dawned bright and clear, with a promise to be the perfect last day for this couple, still in love after 25 years. We had done so many things all week long, and even though we took our time with each and every walk, tour, and visit, we were tired.  Things worked out that we had ventured farther out from our appartement in le Marais at the beginning of our week, and gradually moved closer with each day we spent in Paris.

We were thankful we didn't have to walk too far on this morning.  I wasn't sure about venturing out without my sweater, but after several minutes, I realized that it would be warm enough to enjoy the  soon-to-be 70-degree day with uncovered arms.

On rue de Birague, looking into a building archway, and beyond.

The archway (and beyond!) was our goal for the morning.

Through the arch, and on the other side, we stood in place des Vosges.  I looked back toward the arch in the building and took a picture.

Then I looked around the place, which was the first planned square in Paris, and where jousts, tournaments, and historic events once took place.

Statue of Louis XIII on the north side of place des Vosges.

Rather than writing out what was written on the statue, or trying to translate and remember what it said, I simply took a picture.

This statue
work of Dupaty and Cortot
raised the 4th of November 1829
the old (ancient) statue of bronze
erected in 1639

I love, love, love the below image I captured of one of the fountains in the place, with the water droplets in the air, and people relaxing on the lawn and strolling on the path.

Here is a description of the place from one of our walking-tour books:

The square was built in 1600-1608, as a country retreat for Henry IV and his courters.  There are nine houses on each side of the square, the two tallest being the King's Pavilion to the south and the Queen's Pavilion over on the north side...  Victor Hugo lived here.  The house at No. 6 is now the Victor Hugo museum and it can be visited free of charge.  ~Frommer's 24 Great Walks in Paris, p. 27 (ISBN 978-0-470-22897-5).

Place des Vosges is the oldest planned square in Paris, and is perfectly symmetrical in shape.  Although the lawn was packed with people with blankets spread out, eating lunch, talking, or simply relaxing on a beautiful Saturday morning, it was a beautiful and peaceful place to stroll, whether on its square tree-lined path, or underneath the viaducts of the buildings along the edge of the place.  These viaducts, or arcades, house a variety of shops, galleries, and cafés, if you're in the mood to shop and/or eat.

Under the arcades along the buildings at place des Vosges.

As our walking-tour book said, the Victor Hugo museum is located here, and is free of charge (there is a small fee for the audio tour, if you want to purchase it).  He wrote his work Les Misérables while living here.

Maison de Victor Hugo, No. 6, place des Vosges, Paris.

We were all ready for free, and figured we would enjoy wandering through the appartement to see a little of how Hugo's home may have looked while he lived there.  Here are a few images from inside the home.

Back out in the place, we enjoyed the rest of our morning strolling, people-watching, and picture-taking.

  • Nearest Métro station:  Bastille (lines 1, 5, and 8)
  • Cost:  free
  • What to look for:  Grassy lawn with fountains, great for spreading a blanket and having a picnic lunch; tree-lined walkway around the place with benches for relaxing; the Victor Hugo Museum (free; closed Mondays); walking under the viaducts (arcades) to explore a variety of shops, galleries, and cafés.
  • Combine with:  place de la Bastille, or window-shopping along rue du Pont Louis Philippe.

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1 comment:

  1. I love all the archways, so pretty. I like Victor Hugo's home too. :)