original attempt at urban planning, the Place des Vosges is now
its oldest square. The square symmetry of the square, with its
ground floor arcade, consists of 39 (some say 36) houses - each
made of red brick with stone facings. Its construction was under
Henri IV from 1605 - 1612. The site was originally occupied by
the Hôtel des Tournelles.
The project was probably designed by Baptiste du Cerceau, and
originally named the Place Royale. The king's and queens pavillions
were the center south and north gateways respectively.