A square that's square


Place des Vosges in the Marais (Gallery II) is the oldest square in Paris, and it's a true square, 140 meters by 140 meters. It was built by Henri IV between 1605 and 1612 and became a model for residential squares in Europe. One thing that was particularly new about it was that all of the houses were built to the same design, with red-brick and stone facades and steeply pitched slate roofs with dormers. The square has had many famous residents, including Victor Hugo. Today its arcades contain popular restaurants, caf├ęs and galleries. The square is beautifully landscaped with linden trees and on any nice afternoon is filled with children playing and older folks strolling or relaxing on the benches. In a city full of lovely open spaces, Place des Vosges ranks with the best of them.