Paris - Ile De France
Place de la Republique and statue - Paris
Place de la Republique, a once hectic roundabout!
The Place de la Republique was redeveloped in 2012/13; it's now entirely pedestrian and road traffic has been diverted around the square.
The City of Paris selected the architect-planners Trévelo and Viger-Kholer for this major project.
Until 2013, two public gardens frame the hectic roundabout and the central reservation where stands the statue of the Republic.
It is also the point of intersection of seven major streets, so road traffic used to be very heavy and the roundabout jammed for hours!
The long gone Place du Château
The Place de la Republique was not always a gigantic roundabout!
The small Place du Château d'Eau was created in the early 19th century, and took its name from the central fountain sculpted by Girard.
It was enlarged 50 years later during the Haussmann's renovation of Paris.
Haussmann sacrificed a section of the Boulevard du Temple in order to extend the square.
He also moved the Fontaine du Château d'Eau to La Villette slaughterhouse where it served as a cattle trough.
The Place du Château d'Eau was renamed Place de la République in 1879 to commemorate the Third Republic.
Statue of the Republic
The main statue represents Marianne, the young and fictional woman who traditionally embodies the French Republic.
Marianne wears her Phrygian cap, the symbol of Liberty; she holds an olive branch in her right hand, the symbol of Peace, and a tablet inscribed with Droits de l'Homme - Human Rights in her left hand; finally, she carries her sword attached to a belt worn over her shoulder.
She stands on a pedestal adorned with the statues of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, the three major republican symbols.
The pedestal, embellished with a bronze garland, also bears two medallions marked with the words Labor and Pax (work and peace), the arms of the city of Paris and the following dedication:
A la gloire de la République Française- La Ville de Paris- 1883 - To the Glory of the French republic- The city of Paris- 1883.
The lion that lies at its base holds the Ballot Box of Universal Suffrage, just below 12 bronze low reliefs that depict the most significant events in the history of the Republic.
The Place de la Republique today serves as a major venue for the commemoration of tragic events, such as the barbaric attack against the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Sunday 11 January 2015.
Directions: 11th District
Metro: République on Lines 3, 5, 8, 9, 11
Coordinates: Lat 48.867158 - Long 2.363663