A busy place to be on New Year’s Day 2022 was at Place des Vosges (Louis XIII-Place Royale). It was a day of moderate temperatures for couples and families. Going out for a hot chocolate (chocolat chaud) was the goal. One of the fountains caught my eye. I could not resist enjoying a tranquil moment admiring the sun behind the fountain’s water drops.
Behind those drops is history, and today, I added more discoveries about Place des Vosges. I knew it was more than a park throughout the year and that it is a recurring art gallery. In 2014 Les Ateliers Beaux-Arts students used the park as an art gallery. In 2021 Paris Design Week used the park for two different displays. Today, however, I learned the four fountains were sculpted by a very popular French sculptor from the mid-1800s.
Story behind the fountains
The French architect, Jean-François Mesnager, designed the original four fountains and the pedestal for the mounted Louis XIII around 1825. Fed from the Ourcq River, the fountains were added around 1840 under the reign of Louis XVIII during the park’s renovation. The actual statue and fountains are the work of the sculptor, Jean-Pierre Cortot. Cortot’s work can also be seen on the Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomphe and other public works. Wikipedia has more details and images for Cortot’s historical sculptures.
More facts about the park
Did you know that Place Royale is the oldest, planned park in Paris? The benches in the park were added in 1976. The trees around the equestrian statue of Louis XIII are Crimean Lindens (Tilleuls) and Horse Chestnut (Marronnier d’Inde).
I wish you a healthy and safe 2022!