Monday, August 9, 2010

Place Des Vosges~Monday is 'Missing Paris Day'

Welcome to the Place Des Vosges

with its artwork, gardens and vaulted arcades!

A Marais ~4th Arrondissement~ favorite of most tourists,

the Place was built by King Henry IV in the 1600's

and known as the Place Royal.

Occupied by many famous French,

including poet Theophile Gautier, writer Alphonse Daudet (both at No. 8)

and Cardinal Richelieu (No. 21 from 1615-1627),

it was also home to the author of Paris' (likely) most famous stories:

'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Les Miserables'.

Victor Hugo lived here at No. 6 where he presumably wrote

many of the pages for his famous 'Les Mis'.

It is now a museum dedicated to his life and work.

The center square where there is now a fountain

was once a favorite spot for duels.

While a favorite pasttime of walking the Place is poking in art shops...

(Had to take this one because, well, BECAUSE IT'S VENICE!)

(And loved how this piece, with light behind it,

creates a shadow of itself on the wall

and the shadow becomes the art).

...One of my favorite things is to peek inside open doorways

and see inside the courtyards.

Some things I did not know about Victor Hugo:

** He is known in France even more for his poetry than his novels.
** It took 17 years for his most famous "Les Miserables" to be finished and published.
**He started a Squid fad in Paris through his writings on them in his book 'Les Travailleurs de la Mer'.
** He learned of his young married daughter's death in a newspaper at a cafe in the South of France.
**He was an outspoken critic of the Death Penalty (and is credited with convincing Geneva, Columbia and Portugal to do away with it).
**He became involved in French politics as a member of the Academie Francaise.

Next time you're in Paris,
stop in and visit the Maison de Victor Hugo
at No. 6, Place des Vosges
for a look at where the great novelist, essayist, politician, visual artist and poet
lived, drew and wrote.

Maison de Victor Hugo
Open Tues-Sunday
Metros: St. Paul, Chemin-Vert, Bastille

(Resource: Wikipedia)

(All Photographs copyright: Kirsten Steen)


  1. I LOVE HUGO....I bought Les Miserables in a three volume set in a Paris flea market for the equivalent of $1.00. I immediately devoured the novel and this year I attempted to reread them. Some people are made CLASSIC, and his insights and language never die. I must see this magnificent moment to his life when in Paris again!!! Which I hope, will be soon in the future! Have a great week dearest, Anita

  2. That is one of my favorite things to do - peer in gated courtyards! Have a great week, Kirsten! xx

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  4. I am with you Places des Vosges is the most wonderful Place in Paris. I love to go in the winter when I have it all to my self. Loved the Snowdon biog by the way. Couldn't put it down. Carla

  5. Look at those green walls. STUNNING.


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