Thursday, 29 October 2015

Place Vendome and the Vendome Column, Paris France

Place Vendome is an architectural triumph from the period of Louis XIV (1687-1720). Designed by Mansart in 1698 it has the exact same facades on each side. The original plan was to house academics and embassies but instead the project fell on finical hardship and properties were sold to financiers who moved in and created sumptuous mansions for themselves.
The most famous residences are No.12 where Frederic Chopin died in 1849; No.15 where Cesar Ritz established his famous hotel in 1898, the Ministry of Justice at Nos. 11 and 13 since 1718 and No. 1 which was the “Embassy of Texas”. From 1836-1845, when Texas was seceded from Mexico and had not yet joined the United States, Texas was recognized as an independent state by the government of France and an embassy was set up in 1839.

In the center of the square is the Vendome Column or when it was first erected it was called the Column of Austerlitz. There used to be a staute of Louis XIV in its placed but it was destroyed in 1792 during the French Revolution.

After the German campaign in 1806 that Napoleon commissions the construction of the Vendome column to commemorate the glory of his great army at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, one of Napoleon’s greatest victories.
At 44 m in height and 3.60 m in diameter, it was inspired by Trajan’s column in Rome, and is composed of a spiral showing the triumphant battles of the Napoleonic Campaigns from 1805 to 1807. The column culminates in a statue of Napoleon depicted as Caesar. The original plaques encasing the column are said to be made of bronze of 250 melted canons taken from the Russian and Austrians at the Battle of Austerlitz.

The column was briefly taken down (1871-1872) during the Paris Commune who opposed to it as a symbol of war, but was quickly re -erected where it has stood ever since.

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