Square Jean XXIII: peace and melancholy in the heart of Paris (France)


photo credit: Park Jean XXIII via photopin (license)

Paris has always had a special place in my heart and its unique spirit moves me every time. I especially feel the real “soul” of the city in the garden located behind Notre Dame cathedral. This place gives me a peaceful and melancholic feeling, even if I could not tell you exactly why…if anybody has ever felt the same, feel free share your thoughts with me!

For those who have never been to Paris: you certainly have an image of Notre Dame cathedral in your mind, with its gothic front and the famous gargoyles on its top. Now, imagine to be in the square in front of the church and look on your right: you’ll see a little iron gate introducing you to a long and narrow path having the Seine on your right and the cathedral’s walls on your left. At the end of the path, you’ll reach a large and beautiful square with lots of trees and flowers and the amazing gothic Fountain of the Virgin….well welcome to Square Jean XXIII (former Archbishop square) 🙂

The previous name of the square derives from the Archbishop’s Palace, which was destroyed after the revolution in 1830. Later on, it was decided to create the first public garden of the IV arrondissement in this area close to the cathedral and, in 1844 it was open for the people to enjoy. In 1845 the fountain was also completed.

Nowadays it’s a very quiet and shady spot in the middle of the city, where you can spend some time under the ancient trees and, if you’re lucky enough, listen to a street artist singing and playing its accordion in the distance…for me it was the perfect ending of an unforgettable weekend!

The back of Notre Dame cathedral seen from square Jean XXIII

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