PLACE VENDôME (French pronunciation: ) is a square in the 1st
arrondissement of Paris , France, located to the north of the
Tuileries Gardens and east of the
Église de la Madeleine . It is the
starting point of the Rue de la Paix . Its regular architecture by
Jules Hardouin-Mansart and pedimented screens canted across the
corners give the rectangular Place
Vendôme the aspect of an octagon.
Vendôme Column at the centre of the square was erected
by Napoleon I to commemorate the
Battle of Austerlitz
Place Vendôme, ca. 1890–1900
Vendôme was laid out in 1702 as a monument to the glory of the
armies of Louis XIV, the Grand Monarque and called Place des
Conquêtes, to be renamed Place Louis le Grand, when the conquests
proved temporary; an over life-size equestrian statue of the king was
set up in its centre, donated by the city authorities; this was by
François Girardon (1699) and is supposed to have been the first large
modern equestrian statue to be cast in a single piece. It was
destroyed in the
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 . Hardouin-Mansart bought the building and its gardens, with the idea of converting it into building lots as a profitable speculation. The plan did not materialize, and Louis XIV's minister of finance, Louvois , purchased the piece of ground, with the object of building a square, modelled on the successful Place des Vosges of the previous century. Louvois came into financial difficulties and nothing came of his project, either. After his death, the king purchased the plot and commissioned Hardouin-Mansart to design a housefront that the buyers of plots round the square would agree to adhere to. When the state finances ran low, the financier John Law took on the project, built himself a residence behind one of the façades, and the square was complete by 1720, just as his paper-money Mississippi bubble burst. Law suffered a major blow when he was forced to pay back taxes amounting to some tens of millions of dollars. With no way to pay such an amount, he was forced to sell the property he owned on the square. The buyers were members of the exiled Bourbon-Condé family who later returned to the country to reclaim their land in the town of Vendôme itself. Between 1720 and 1797, they acquired much of the square, including a freehold to parts of the site on which the Hôtel Ritz Paris now stands and in which they still maintain apartments. Their intention to restore a family palace on the site is dependent on the possible intentions of the adjacent Justice Ministry to expand its premises.
THE VENDôME COLUMN
The column Vendôme
The original column was started in 1806 at Napoleon 's direction and
completed in 1810. It was modelled after Trajan\'s Column , to
celebrate the victory of Austerlitz ; its veneer of 425 spiralling
bas-relief bronze plates was made out of cannon taken from the
combined armies of Europe, according to his propaganda (the usual
figure given is hugely exaggerated: 180 cannon were actually captured
at Austerlitz. ) These plates were designed by the sculptor
Pierre-Nolasque Bergeret and executed by a team of sculptors including
In 1816, taking advantage of the Allied occupying force, a mob of men and horses had attached a cable to the neck of the statue of Napoleon atop the column, but it had refused to budge – one woman quipped "If the Emperor is as solid on his throne as this statue is on its column, he's nowhere near descending the throne". After the Bourbon Restoration the statue, though not the column, was pulled down and melted down to provide the bronze for the recast equestrian statue of Henry IV on the Pont Neuf (as was bronze from sculptures on the Column of the Grande Armée at Boulogne-sur-Mer), though the statuette of Victory is still to be seen in the salon Napoléon of the Hôtel des Monnaies (which also contains a model of the column and a likeness of Napoleon's face copied from his death mask ). A replacement statue of Napoléon in modern dress (a tricorn hat, boots and a redingote ), however, was erected by Louis-Philippe , and a better, more augustly classicizing one by Louis-Napoléon (later Napoléon III) .
“ In as much as the Vendôme column is a monument devoid of all artistic value, tending to perpetuate by its expression the ideas of war and conquest of the past imperial dynasty, which are reproved by a republican nation's sentiment, citizen Courbet expresses the wish that the National Defense government will authorise him to disassemble this column. ”
His project as proposed was not adopted, though on 12 April 1871
legislation was passed authorizing the dismantling of the imperial
symbol. When the column was taken down on 16 May its bronze plates
were preserved. After the suppression of the
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. The arcading of the formally rusticated ground floors does not provide an arcaded passageway as at Place des Vosges. The architectural linking of the windows from one floor to the next, and the increasing arch of their windowheads, provide an upward spring to the horizontals formed by ranks of windows. Originally the square was accessible by a single street and preserved an aristocratic quiet, except when the annual fair was held there. Then Napoléon opened the Rue de la Paix , and the 19th century filled the Place Vendôme with traffic. It was only after the opening in 1875 of the Palais Garnier on the other side of the rue de la Paix that the centre of the Parisian fashionable life started gravitating around the rue de la Paix and the Place Vendôme.
Hôtels particuliers on the Place Vendôme:
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 Vendôme Column
* N°1 : Hôtel Bataille de Francès * N°3 : Hôtel de Coëtlogon * N°5 : Hôtel d'Orsigny * N°7 : Hôtel Lebas de Montargis * N°9 : Hôtel de Villemaré * N°11 : Hôtel de Simiane * N°13 : Hôtel de Bourvallais * N°15 : Hôtel de Gramont * N°17 : Hôtel de Crozat * N°19 : Hôtel d'Évreux * N°21 : Hôtel de Fontpertuis * N°23 : Hôtel de Boullongne
* N°2 : Hôtel Marquet de Bourgade * N°4 : Hôtel Heuzé de Vologer * N°6 : Hôtel Thibert des Martrais * N°8 : Hôtel Delpech de Chaunot * N°10 : Hôtel de Latour-Maubourg * N°12 : Hôtel Baudard de Saint-James * N°14 : Hôtel de La Fare * N°16 : Hôtel Moufle * N°18 : Hôtel Duché des Tournelles * N°20 : Hôtel de Parabère * N°22 : Hôtel de Ségur * N°24 : Hôtel de Boffrand * N°26 : Hôtel de Noce * N°28 : Hôtel Gaillard de la Bouëxière
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. The only two remaining are the shirtmaker Charvet , at number 28, whose store has been on the Place since 1877, and the couturier Chéruit , at number 21, reestablished in 2008. Since 1718, the Ministry of Justice , also known as the "Chancellerie", is located at the Hotel de Bourvallais located at numbers 11 and 13. Right on the other side of the Place, number 14 houses the Paris office of JP Morgan , the investment bank, and number 20 the office of Ardian (formerly AXA Private Equity).
After his death in 1990, American artist
In the 1920s, American architect, Alonzo C. Webb worked making advertisements and designs in English for some of the fashionable houses along the Place Vendôme.
Abel-François Poisson, marquis de Marigny , (1727–1781), the
Madame de Pompadour