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Place Vendôme

The Place Vendôme in Paris

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Welcome to the kingdom of luxury and refinement à la française!

Classic architecture, prestigious brands and opulent hotels… Located in the heart of the 1st arrondissement, the Place Vendôme is one of the most chic and famous public squares in Paris!

Follow the guide!

💡 The Captain’s tips 💡

🧐 Keen to delve into Paris’ rich history? Captain Ulysses suggests checking out this complimentary guided tour of the city. You decide how much to tip the guide!

💤 Searching for the perfect stay in Paris? Take a peek at Captain’s picks for the best places to stay: Where to stay in Paris? Tips & Recommendations.

👶 Planning a family adventure to Paris? Discover all of the Captain’s top tips in the article: Exploring Paris with the Kids: Family-Friendly Activities

Brief history of the Place Vendôme

The origins of the Place Vendôme

Let’s go back in time to the end of the 17th century, shall we?

In the 1680s, the Marquis de Louvois, one of Louis XIV’s chief ministers, took up the idea of the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart (known for his work on the Château de Versailles) to create a vast rectangular square on the present site of the Place Vendôme. This square, named Place Louis Le Grand, was intended to house a series of public buildings: the royal library, the Hôtel de la Monnaie (Paris Mint), etc.

Jules Hardouin-Mansart built the facades – without constructing the back of the buildings! – and the sculptor François Girardon erected a bronze statue of Louis XIV in the heart of the square.

But the construction program was abandoned at the end of the 17th century and replaced by a new project, also headed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart. The square was no longer intended to house public buildings, but rather private mansions designed to accommodate the Parisian elite. The architect destroyed the facades which he had previously built and redesigned the square completely. The new square – which was to be slightly larger than the previous version – was to be built in the classical style.

Once again, Jules Hardouin-Mansart only built the facades of the future buildings (for the sake of harmony)… It was up to the buyers of the land to build the rest!

👑 The 5 royal squares of Paris 👑

The Place Vendôme is in the very select club of the 5 royal squares in Paris! In the center of each of these once stood a statue of the French sovereign. These squares were therefore intended to glorify the monarch. The royal squares also have the particularity of following a geometrical and orderly plan.
The 5 royal squares of Paris are: the Place des Vosges (a must-see in Paris), the Place de la Concorde, the Place des Victoires, the Place Dauphine… and of course the Place Vendôme!

The Place Vendôme under the Revolution

During the Revolution, the Place Louis Le Grand was renamed Place des Piques (in reference to the heads of royalists planted on pikes and exhibited by the revolutionaries) and the equestrian statue of Louis XIV was destroyed.

Place Vendôme

Napoleon, the Vendôme Column… and the Paris Commune

In 1810, Napoleon erected the huge Vendome Column in the center of the square to commemorate the battle of Austerlitz.

Made from the bronze of 1200 cannons seized from the enemy, the column is largely inspired by the Trajanic Column in Rome.

But the Vendome Column was not to everyone’s taste… In 1871, the Communards (members and supporters of the short-lived 1871 Paris Commune) – including the anarchist painter Gustave Courbet – tore down the column, considered a symbol of imperial despotism, and renamed the square “Place Internationale”. When the Paris Commune was routed by the government, the Vendome Column was rebuilt and Gustave Courbet was ordered to restore it at his own expense (for a total of 323,091.68 francs).

💡 What was the Paris Commune? 💡

The Paris Commune was a popular insurrection that swept through the French capital in 1871 and lasted 72 days. Crushed by the government in May 1871, the Paris Commune ended in bloodshed during a week of deadly confrontations known as “Bloody Week”.

Jewelers & prestigious brands

The Place Vendôme is heaven on earth for jewelers and prestigious brands!

From the early 19th century, the Place Vendôme and the adjacent streets (rue de la Paix, rue Saint-Honoré…) gradually became the epicenter of French luxury and refinement. Major jewelry and haute-couture brands have taken up residence in and around the former royal square: Boucheron, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, etc.

Place Vendôme - Paris

Visiting the Place Vendôme in Paris

A square nestled in the heart of the 1st arrondissement

To discover the famous Place Vendôme, head for the heart of the 1st arrondissement of Paris. The Place Vendôme is located a few steps from some of the most emblematic monuments of the French capital: the Tuileries Garden, the Opéra Garnier, La Madeleine, the Louvre Museum or the Musée de l’Orangerie.

Plenty to do in the neighborhood!

What to see & do on the Place Vendôme?

The Vendome Column

Nestled in the center of the square, the Vendôme Column is a reconstruction dating from 1875, the original column – erected in 1810 on the initiative of Napoleon I having been destroyed in 1871 during the Paris Commune.

The bas-reliefs adorning the Vendôme column recall the Battle of Austerlitz, won in 1805 by Napoleon’s troops against the coalition formed by the United Kingdom, the Russian Empire, the Empire of Hungary and Sweden.

The column is entirely made of bronze and surmounted by a statue of Napoleon represented as Caesar.

Vendome column

The private mansions of the Place Vendôme

The Place Vendôme is surrounded by 28 private mansions, many of which are classified as historical monuments and are now occupied by luxury brands.

Do not miss the Ministry of Justice at number 13 of the square nor the famous Ritz at number 15. Founded in 1898 and completely renovated between 2012 and 2016, it ranks very high on the list of the most prestigious hotels in the French capital.

Among the famous jewelers located in the square, you’ll find Gucci, Chanel, Van Cleed & Arpels or Rolex.

Ritz - Place Vendôme

Want more?

Place Vendôme is not enough to satisfy your insatiable thirst for luxury and elegance? The mythical streets of the surroundings should do the trick: rue de la Paix, la rue Saint-Honoré, rue de Rivoli.

💳 Shop without breaking the bank! 💳

You have an irrepressible urge to shop, but your bank account won’t allow you to splurge in the posh stores around Place Vendôme? No worries! Head for the Rue de Rivoli. If the shops near the Place de la Concorde and the Palais Royal are very high end, you’ll find much more affordable stores if you continue towards Châtelet and Hôtel de Ville (Zara, Monki, Bershka, Oysho…).


The Place Vendôme is located halfway between the Opera Garnier, the Tuileries Garden and La Madeleine.

The nearest metro stations are Opéra (lines 3, 7 and 8) and Tuileries (line 1). The nearest city bus stops are: Pyramides – Saint-Honoré (line 68) and Pyramides (lines 21, 27, 68 and 95).

The hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tours also stop near the Place Vendôme.

👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and tours in advance!

👉 Looking for a place to stay in Paris?


👉 Looking for advice and recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ suggestions!

🛏️ Accommodation: Booking. For all the Captain’s advice and recommendations: Where to stay in Paris?

🎟️ Activities: GetYourGuide | Civitatis

⛵ Cruises: Seine River Cruises

🎫 Citypass: Paris Museum Pass

🚐 Transfers: Transfer to/from your hotel

🚌 Local Transportation: Hop-on Hop-off Bus | Batobus

✈️ Flights, Trains & Buses: Skyscanner

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