My Paris Guide: On the Parvis of Hôtel de Ville
A little history on the place de l’Hôtel de Ville…
After talking about the Town Hall (fourth arrondissement), in a previous article, we turn to its place (or square). Having played witness to myriad historical events, festivals, performances … from the Middle Ages to present day ..
Formerly it was a beach of sand and gravel which joined the Seine, where the name of the Place de Greve derived its origin. It retained this name until 1803, with a small interlude at the Paris Uprising (1871) where it took the name instead of the Maison de la Commune. A port was created and was of considerable importance. The goods were transported by ship (wood, flax, wine ..), all sorts of trade soared. A market was created and the construction of houses expanded on its right bank. It was here where people awaited a place to work: they went on strike, and thus the origin phrase where to strike, which has a completely different meaning today.
Under the Ancietn Régime sordid public executions took place: Cartouche in 1721 for stabbing Ravaillac Henri IV, Damien after attempting to assassinate Louis XV, among others … In 1792, during the Revolution, the tortures were replaced by the guillotine.
Under the Empire, there were given splendid parties to celebrate Napoleon’s victories. Here the french celebrated St. John with large fires that the king often instructed to turn himself.
Today it is home to many activities: skating rink in winter, giant screens, free concerts … You can just walk around and watch the fountains and discover the facade of the Hotel de Ville.
The last vestige is a turret located in the northeast corner of the square. Since 1892, the site is pedestrian.
Place de l’Hôtel de Ville
Hotel de Ville Metro
RER Chatelet les Halles…