Place Vendôme

June 22, 2015

By Tab Byrum

We continue this week looking at books by Assouline,  focusing today on the City of Light and one of it’s famous landmarks. The city of Paris is made up of 18 neighborhoods called arrondissements, the 1st arrondissement is at the heart of the city and within the 1st is the Place Vendôme.

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When we were in Paris a couple of years ago we took a walking chocolate tour of the city and Place Vendôme is where we met our guide, and it’s spectacular to behold. The square was built as a tribute to King Louis XIV, The Sun King and is surrounded by identical buildings on all four sides, within these buildings are homes, hotels, and retail shops

Among those doing business in the area are Dior and Chanel as well as jewelers Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels and Bulgari. The Ritz Hotel is also on the square and just underwent a major facelift.

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 In the center of the Place Vendôme is a column and on top of that column usually stands the statue of a French leader, in the past it was King Louis XIV until the French Revolution when the column and statue were torn down.

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The column you see today was erected by Napolean and was meant to commemorate his victory at Austerlitz over the Austrians and Russians. The column is 144 feet tall and is constructed of metal from the 1,200 cannons captured in the defeat of the Austrian and Russian armies, the statue at the top of the column depicts Napolean I as a Roman Emporer.

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The Place Vendôme has been the place to be for decades with the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, the Vanderbilts and Rothschilds passing through this magical town square. Join me today and come back tomorrow as we delve into the new book, Place Vendôme, from Assouline and as always, Enjoy!!!

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The Place Vendôme at night.  ( via )

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Coco Chanel on the Place Vendôme, 1937. Chanel kept a permanent suite at the Ritz until her death.  ( via )

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Place Vendôme during the Paris Commune, 1871.  ( via )

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From this sketch, you can get an idea of the businesses located within the Place Vendôme. ( via )

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A view from above as storm clouds roll in over Place Vendôme. ( via )

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The Duke of Windsor suite within the Ritz Hotel on Place Vendôme. ( via )

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In this photo, you not only see the beautiful lights on the Place Vendôme, but also a close-up of the detail on the column standing in the center of the square. ( via )

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A look at the Place Vendôme in the 1960’s. ( via )

I hope you enjoyed this peek into a wonderful part of Paris, remember to come back tomorrow when we’ll be looking at Place Vendôme, one of the newest beautiful books from Assouline, Au revoir!!!

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