La Place des Vosges, Paris, ca 1900
Place des Vosges is 140 by 140 meters square (459’ 3.81”) or about 100 feet longer than a football field in the United States. It took from 1605 to 1612 to build and is the first example of royal city planning. It is considered to be the prototype of residential squares in European cities.
The square is arranged symmetrically with buildings all of the same height along each side with two taller buildings, the Pavilion of the King and the Pavilion of the Queen facing each other on the north and south sides of the square. The exterior of the buildings, nine on each side for a total of 36, is brick and stone for a strikingly colored red with cream insets. The steep roofs are of blue slate and contain dormer windows. There are mature Linden trees in the center of the square and clipped Lindens along the perimeter, benches, fountains and some statuary can also be found in the park. Even today it is considered one of the most beautiful squares in the world.
During a five year period from 1605 to 1612 Henry IV, who had this square built, also ordered the Place Dauphine laid out, had additions made to the Louvre, the Pont Neuf, and the Hôpital Saint Louis. Although no kings or queens actually lived here the wedding of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria was held on the grounds in 1612 and included a three-day tournament, several notable persons have lived in the apartments that line the sides of the square. During the 17th century duels were fought in the center of the square.
For additional pictures and historical information please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Place_des_Vosges
Note:This is posted on Friday because the WiFi at the hotel in Nice was down so I had to wait an extra day.