Place de la République! mapAerial view of Place de la République!Place de la République in the Middle AgesPlace de la République 1670Turgot map of Place de la République 1739Place de la République today
The new and improved Place de la République, as projected, will be inaugurated this coming Sunday, June 16th, by Mayor Bertrand Delanoë along with Anne Hidalgo, First Deputy and Deputy Julien Bargeton, plus of course, the Mayors of the districts that all touch the Place -- the 3rd, 10th and 11th districts: Pierre Aidenbaum, Rémi Féraud and Patrick Bloche.
This is my 'hood' -- the center of major commercial activity that brings together three districts, is the hub for five Métro lines (3, 5, 8, 9 and 11) and acts as the meeting point for most all public demonstrations. It's the one of the largest squares in Paris (280m X 120m, 3.6 hectares) and a creation of the 19th-century. The project was first launched in 2008 with the objectives of "reaffirming the Republican symbol and revitalize the historical heritage, integrate new mobility and better share public space, to enhance the usability of the site and create a gathering place."
Since the work began two years ago, I'd have to say that the construction created a challenge to maneuver the Place by car or foot, but no one really seemed to mind knowing what would be the outcome. According to the publicity by the city, the square is designed for play space for kids, relaxation for adults, space for cultural and sporting events and exhibitions, civil gatherings and even for food distribution to the homeless. The idea is to create less of a center for traffic and more of a center for public activity.
This Sunday, it will be a place of entertainment to kick-off the new Place:
11:15 a.m. Inauguration
11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.: the toy library "l’R de jeux" offers a dozen workshops with their partners across the eastern terrace.
12:45 to 1:15 p.m.: Nkululeko dance troupe will perform.
2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Le Petit Monsieur, undaunted, silent and stubborn, he tries incredible acrobatic tricks!
3 p.m.: SAMU "The Talking Balconies" -- special windows installed in the street where neighbors go about their usual activities while chatting with passersby. They are at home, you're home. They talk about the rain, the weather, the miseries of the world, the new site of The Republic, the ozone layer...etc.
4:30 p.m. Cirkatomik Company -- everything is for sale in "The Hardware Parpassanton." Since 1936, their products are sold around the world. See the collection!
6:30 p.m. Take in a mini concert -- "La Chanson du Dimanche" Come get in the right mood with Alec and Clement!
And now we are to judge if the city has accomplished its goals or not!
P.S. Next week I'll be writing from Nice where I will be planning for the Living and Investing in France Conference that takes place September 27-29 in Nice where we're going to be talking about property values on the Riviera, visit a small selection of apartments to help you get an idea of the market and take a tour of the entire coast from Cannes to Menton! To see the full schedule and register, visit Living and Investing in France.
P.P.S. Tune in to House Hunters International on June 16 at 7:30 p.m. E/P for the NEW EPISODE "Healthy Living in Paris, France." You'll meet Patricia who was finally transferred to Paris for her work as a nutritionist. But finding an apartment with Parisian charm and modern decor could present a challenge for Adrian and her team. Be sure to watch and find out what happens!
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