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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC


17th c.

For centuries, the Marais was not inhabited - the name literally means "marsh".

In the 17th century it became one of the richest and most fashionable areas of Paris.

One of the main reasons nobles were attracted to the area was the Place des Vosges.

Built by King Henri IV in the 17th century, it is one of the first examples of European urban planning.

It's a perfect square, framed with identical brick buildings.

Its functionality and symmetry marked the beginning of a very influential style of architecture - Classicism.

The Place des Vosges became a favorite socializing spot and many nobles built their private residences around it.

Fun fact : the square was initially called the Royal Square but it was renamed when the Vosges became the first French district to pay its taxes during the French Revolution!

Make sure to check out out the Hotel de Soubise and the Hotel de Rohan.

Today they house the French National Archives, with a beautiful public garden.