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Social Distancing in Paris (or at least trying) – 1st arrondissement – History

Walking around Paris in the middle of summer without the usual groups of tourists gives you a very strange feeling. You sometimes wonder if you should be there yourself, in an empty place at 8.30 am.

The first arrondissement is one of the most luxurious and historical part of Paris. Most of the area is taken by Le Louvre museum and the Tuileries gardens.

Place Vendôme took different names across the centuries and every change occurred according to all the different historical events that shook the country.

It was built during the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King who wanted a luxurious square in the middle of Paris, to glorify the monarchy. His statue was put in the centre for everybody to admire. During the French Revolution, this statue suddenly became unpopular and was removed in 1792.

A few years later, it was replaced with a column to celebrate Napoleon’s victory in Austerlitz; it was symbolically made from the bronze of 1200 canons that had been taken from the Russian and Austrian armies, and was inspired by the Trajan column (celebrating the Roman victory in Dacia), but in this case the scenes represent Napoleon’s battles and conquests.

During the events of the Commune in 1871, it was destroyed and later replaced by the column that we can see now.

During the late 19th century, capitalism and luxury developed and that was when prestigious designers and The Ritz Hotel became the centre of attention in that area.

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