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Place Vendôme

place vendome map

Place Vendôme - Metro : Opéra

Symbol of high luxury, home to the greatest jewelers (Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Chaumet), the Place Vendôme is probably Paris’ most expensive place. It is situated in the continuation of the rue de la Paix, facing the west entrance to the Tuilerie Gardens. Like other prestigious places such as the Place de la Concorde, the Place Vendôme originally held an equestrian statue of a King, Louis XIV. To clear sufficient space for this imposing place planners had to pull down several buildings, amongst them the Cupucines Convent, remembered in the form of an adjacent street that today bears its name, la rue Capucines. The royal and majestic architecture of this place is the work of Jules-Hardouin Mansart, architect of Versailles, work that was somewhat sullied during the French Revolution, revolutionaries choosing the symbolic location to display on stakes the heads of those unfortunate to have attracted their wrath.  This gruesome event lead to the place being nicknamed the Place of Stakes for some time following. Facing the prestigious luxury hotel the Ritz is located the apartment in which Frédéric Chopin died, now the first floor of the jeweler Chaumet. Located in the centre of the place, where once stood the status of the Sun King, Louis XIV, destroyed during the revolution, now stands the Vendôme Column, inspired by the Trajan Column of Rome. Dedicated to the victorious campaigns of Napoleon’s army in Germany, it was constructed using the bronze from the 1200 cannons captured after the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. Originally, the column was crowned with a statue of Napoleon, but this was replaced by the royal symbol, the fleur de lys, by the Bourbons following the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. Pulled down during the Paris Commune, responsibility for the reconstruction and restoration was placed on the head of the anarchist painter Gustave Courbet, himself one of those responsible for the provocative act.


Trocadero and Palais de Chaillot history
Les Champs-Elysées
La Place de la Concorde
L'Opéra Garnier
Père-Lachaise Cemetery
Musée d'Orsay
Musée du Louvre
La Madeleine
Les Invalides
Ile St-Louis
Tuileries Gardens
Musée Marmottan
Eiffel Tower
Passages and Galeries

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