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Square Rene Viviani, Paris

(25+ reviews on the web)
Landmark Tourist Spot
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A sign at the entrance close to the church says that the oldest tree in Paris (1601) stands in this park. Although the top of the tree is gone, a large side branch is held up with two concrete pillars...  more »
  • There are a lot of parks in Paris, but this one was very close to our hotel. We walked through it to get to Shakespeare & Company or to get to the Metro or RER. Our hotel concierge told us that the ol...  more »
  • Charming small park. It was closed for renovation (November, 2016) but we peeked through the fence at Paris's oldest tree. Stop by after visiting Notre Dame. And check out Shakespeare and Co next door...  more »
Google
  • Quiet park with lots of shade and a great view on Notre Dame. Great for a break on a hot day.
  • Cosy little park with a view on Nôtre Dame
  • Nice little park with a great view of Notre Dame and the Seine River. Very close to many shops and restaurants.
  • Lovely square with a view.
  • Home to the oldest tree in Paris paired with a beautiful view of Notre Dame this beautiful little garden is historic and serene. Full of history the tree, supported by several concrete beams, was planted around 1600, lost several limbs in a bombing, and is still very much alive, and beautiful to look see.