Place Hoche, Versailles!

Now I need to update this older post on one of my emblematic streets of Versailles, and very near my former home. The area is sublime to say the least with views of the palace and collegiate church in my former district of Notre Dame. Hope you enjoy the post on the place Hoche as I.

I have to come back to my gorgeous historical Royal and Imperial Versailles. It needs to be seen more.   And no, it is not a thing to do from Paris, it is on its own thank you. Ok ok, I am biased, even thus work in Paris for several years and visit often, I used to lived in VERSAILLES for 9 glorious years! It will always be in my mind. One more reason why I think buddy papa Hemingway was short as he should had written a second volume on France is a mouvable feast ! Ok enough of my propaganda lol! Let me tell you up close and personal about a square, street very close to me where I spent all those wonderful years!!

The Place Hoche sits in the middle of the street of the same name that has a direct view from the Notre Dame Collegiate Church pass the square and pass Avenue Nepvue then into Avenue Rockefeller and  into the Place d’Armes in front of the Palace/Museum of Versailles. One of the most pleasant walks to do in my Versailles and plenty of architectural and tidbits historical facts along the way.  A fact, if the French constitution needs to be modified, change, altered in any way, the entire French government needs to deliberate here including the President, making Versailles the de facto capital of France by Constitutional rights.

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Located in the heart of the Notre-Dame district, the place Hoche is marked by history, and part of these squares of Versailles laden with history and ignored wrongly by visitors/tourists. As said in previous posts, the city of Versailles conducted a survey on visitors and found that 98% only come here for the palace/museum only!!!  Located in the perspective of the Notre-Dame Collegiate Church, it was drawn up in 1671 and was at the time called Place Dauphine. It was the first in France to adopt an octagonal shape. It shows well as to the trio of Avenues  Sceaux, Paris and Saint-Cloud  that linen up from the palace into the city, for the appeal of the king for a thoughtful planning.

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You will find looking carefully at the square at No 4 a former hotel Jacques Bénigne Bossuet , Bishop of Meaux and preceptor of the Grand Dauphin in 1674 as well as advisor that became known as the Eagle of Meaux  (dept Seine et Marne 77 my dear late wife Martine birthplace). And it was the building of the local  Chamber of Notaries in 1832.  At No 6 you see the Hotellerie de la Belle Image (beautiful Image), where in 1783 or 85 , the Countess of La Motte had an appointment with the Cardinal de Rohan to be handed over the necklace of Queen Marie Antoinette who had never ordered the jewel. The scam was discovered shortly thereafter, under the restoration of the Café des Gondoles. At No 7 you will see the residence of the architect who created the Théâtre Montansier, Jean-François Heurtier. At the corner of the square accommodated a hotel built in 1769, whose façade with the mention “to the Queen of France” is one of the most remarkable of the square. It was the home of Jean-François Heurtier also inspector General of the buildings of the king. At No 9: house of Jacques Rayer, Cook to the General Common, then in 1869  to the chief medical officer of the Hospital of Versailles and his son-in-law the historian Emile Bourgeois, member of the Institute de France.

Another peculiarity of the square, it allows Versailles to find shade under its large chestnut trees, identified among the remarkable tree of the town alongside the sycamores of the city/town hall. At the center of this square is the statue of Lazare Hoche, General at the age of 25 and famous citizen of Versailles. Louis Lazare Hoche, born June 24, 1768, at 18 ,rue de Satory. He died on 19 September 1797 in Wetzlar,Hesse (Germany). He is buried in Weißenthurm, a small town near Koblenz.  The place of the monument General Hoche there is called  “Auf dem Frauenberg”. Which the help of a dictionary tells me means Pilgrimage Church of Frauenberg. German speakers can correct me ,welcome. One of his sad actions concerning the region where I now lived in Brittany and the Morbihan dept 56 in particular is that he not only  repressed the British landings, but also, of the immigrant Bretons entering by the Quiberon Peninsula, commanded by de Puisaye, Hervilly and Sombreuil, from 23 June to 21 July 1795, and defeated the Chouans (rebels peasants against the French revolution). He was,  then obtained command of all the armies of the West, including those in the Vendée.

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The place Hoche was the place of public access to the wheelbarrows and blue chairs in the 18C and the capital executions during the French revolution .  The guillotine made seven victims here. The statue to Gen Hoche was erected in 1836 and a public garden in 1853.. Finally, during WWII, the place Hoche was marked by the arrest and deportation of seven resistance fighters aged 22 to 50. A plaque hung on a wall reminds us of their sacrifice.

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My Versailles ,le quartier Notre-Dame, my neighborhood where I lived. Terrible in describing things but this is gorgeous place to live in. The neighborhood or district here is the new place after the Church and it grew quickly between the avenues leading to Saint-Cloud and the Clagny lake (now the market of Notre Dame). Destined to welcome the population in the service of the Court and the King, it is drawn by the architect Louis Le Vau and his partner François Orbay. The place Hoche (former place Dauphine) connects it, in 1674, to the castle, according to a device that will be permanently established as a model of urbanism. A bit later, in 1686, the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart was responsible for the construction of the Notre-Dame Collegiate Church, which would be held as a Royal parish (where the birth and baptismal and some marriages records of the Kings descendants are still kept in the crypt in the basement!)

The city of Versailles Notre Dame neighborhoodhttps://en.versailles-tourisme.com/notre-dame-area.html

Across the square cutting it thru it is the Rue Hoche , before known as Place Dauphine, Place de la République, Place de la Loi, Place de la Colonne, Place Napoleon,and finally Place Hoche under  Louis-Philippe in 1832. Some interesting things to see are at No 5 , the temple or Protestant Church since 1820 ,with a renovation done 1880-1882  at 3, Rue Hoche. Also the Ancient Chapel of the Reposoir of the Procession of the Holy Sacrament under the former regime, and a high place of the Theophilanthropists’  under the Revolution.  At No 16 the house ordered built by André Le Nôtre, master gardener of  Louis XIV. We have difficulty proven he lived here but know he sold it in 1686, and before Mirabeau lodge here in 1789.  Along the street, well sorry but my most frequent place was the pharmacy at 6 Place Hoche lol! However, there are nice restaurants here such as the Au Chapeu Gris, and Bagelstein bagels place and delicious.

In all a wonderful city , and do come walk it is a lot more than the palace, history of France before your eyes. Enjoy it as much as I did/do. Crowds of course, we lived with it for 9 years I am sure you can live it for a day!  VERSAILLES!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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