Square Rene Viviani, Paris

#841 of 1,994 in Things to do in Paris
The Square René Viviani is a public square adjacent to the Church of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre in the 5th arrondissement of Paris.LocationThe Square René Viviani is a city park located slightly to the north of the Gothic church of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, built at the same time as Notre-Dame Cathedral and consequently one of Paris' oldest churches. Disaffected during the Revolution, in the 19th century the ruinous church was taken over by the city's Greek Melchite Church and is today the center of that religious community in Paris. The Square is an irregular polygon in shape, bounded by the Rue Galande and church buildings to the south; by the Rue Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre on the west; by the Quai de Montebello to the north; and by the Rue Lagrange and the Rue du Fouarre on the east. The Rue de la Bûcherie ends on the western side of the square, but it resumes its course on the eastern side, and the Pont au Double, a bridge to the Île de la Cité, lies across the Quai de Montebello from the square. The Square René Viviani offers one of the best views of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in all of Paris.Around the corner, in the Rue de la Bûcherie, stands the well-known English-language bookshop, Shakespeare and Company which took the name of Sylvia Beach's legendary bookshop and independent publishing house near the Place de l'Odéon, which first published James Joyce's novel Ulysses and was a literary center for English writers until it was definitively closed when Germany occupied France.Inside the square, there are two features, other than the lawns, walkways, well-trimmed plane trees, and benches, that deserve a mention here. There is an odd-looking fountain, known as the Saint Julien fountain, that was erected in 1995. It is the work of the French sculptor, Georges Jeanclos (1933–1997), and it is emblematic of the legend of St. Julien the Hospitaller, a tale, now largely discounted, involving a curse by witches, a talking deer, a case of mistaken identity, an horrific crime, several improbable coincidences, and a supernatural intervention. The story was told and retold during the Middle Ages, and it became a favorite. Consequently, hospitals, hospices, and churches all over Europe adopted Julien as their patron. He was also a patron saint of hunters, innkeepers, and ferrymen; traveling pilgrims often prayed for his help in finding comfortable lodgings.
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Square Rene Viviani Reviews
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35 reviews
  • Small square near Notre Dam. Is nice even in very cold winter. Imagine great at Christmas or in the summer. Very clean like many the same in Paris  more »
  • The Square Rene Viviani is the location of a small Christmas market here in December, and was the purpose of our visit tonight. It’s a lovely little square with free wifi, right near the Notre Dame an...  more »
  • ... with the oldest tree in Paris. One of the many quaint parks you'll encounter from simply walking around Paris.  more »
  • One of my favorite Paris parks. You sure can't beat that view! Rest your feet and take a nap on one of the benches towards the back, or bring a blanket and let your eyes relax on the grass (forbidden at most parks in Paris!) followed by a picnic. There is a franprix market 2 minutes away towards Maubert Mutualité where you can grab wine and snacks. Just watch out for the rats... 🐁
  • A lovely, serene park seldom visited by tourists with a beautiful Rodin statue. View across the river to Cathedrale Notre-Dame. Nice place to sit and have lunch if the weather is OK. If you have time visit the nearby church of St-Julien le Pauvre where there are often musical recitals. Well worthwhile
  • The oldest tree in Paris is located here. They also offer many concerts (publicised on the wall in the back). Some concerts are offered free and more and more are not. Usually classical concerts in the churches around Paris.
  • a small park, quiet, very few people go into it. they all focus on the Notre-Dame, Shakespeare book store and the small ally next to it, so did I.
  • marche de noel, tiny but neat. sell a kind of chocolat, homemade vin chaud, clothes, miels. It is inconvenient not to buy any other foodstuffs.

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