By walking on the Place de la République, have you ever wondered what was the story of this large Parisian square and especially the story of its impressive monument set on its center?
In the beginning, the Place de la République was nothing but a small Parisian square. But in the 19th century, it becomes a significant Parisian transportations hub (which is still the case today!) and is named the Place du Château d’Eau because of the Fontaine du Château d’eau set on the square in 1811! This fountain, said to be too small, will be moved later to the market-slaughterhouse in La Villette to be used as a drinking through for the cattle.
Shortly after, in 1854, the Place du Château d’Eau is fitted by Baron Haussmann as part of his great town planning plan to rework the Parisian space under the Second Empire. Haussmann fits a large rectangular square and destroys several theaters set on the Boulevard du Temple to do so. As for architect Gabriel Davioud, he creates a new fountain adorned with eight bronze lions that will moved too to the Place Félix Eboué in Paris 12th arrondissement.
In 1879, the square is permanently named the Place de la République in tribute to the values of the Republic. On the occasion, an architecture contest is held to erect a monument on the square at the size of the Republic. The contest is won by the Morice Brothers who create the Monument de la République, a 25-m high monument made of bronze. The latter is inaugurated on July 14, 1883, on Bastille Day, France’s National Day!
During World War II, Germans accommodate their soldiers in the barracks set on the Place de la République. It’s even the last German bastion to be taken over by the French resistance fighters and soldiers on August 25, 1944!
In 2013, the Place de la République shows a completely new face. The Paris Authorities chose to give pedestrians, skaters and bicycle riders pride of place by reducing the part designed for cars. It’s now the perfect place to host aperitifs with friends, demonstrations and open-air concerts. Favorite spot for families and night-owls, the Place de la République has lost of things to offer for your summer nights.
Place de la République
Place de la République
75011 Paris 11
Métro République Beaux Arts