As the sun comes out and the trees burst into blossom, it’s time for the Parisians to head outside and enjoy relaxing in the beautiful parks and squares all across the city.
One of my favourites is the tiny, triangular Place Dauphine on the tip of the Ile de la Cité. After the Place des Vosges, the Place Dauphine was the second royal square of the city – the male heir to the French throne was known as ‘le Dauphin’ and Henri IV had this square built in 1610 in honour of his son, the future Louis XIII. Like the Place des Vosges, it is surrounded by symmetrical and identical houses, although since then many have been modified and restored. Today the lower floors house cafés and art galleries, and the square is a tranquil and beautiful place to sit and have a drink or just enjoy the views.
Simone Signoret and Yves Montand lived at number 15, Jacques Dutronc famously sang ‘Je suis le dauphin de la Place Dauphine’. Mythical as well as beautiful, the Place Dauphine is a wonderful place to stop and sit whatever the weather.
- Place Dauphine, 75001 Paris. metro: Pont Neuf or Cité