Place des Vosges
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Paris's first planned square was commissioned in 1605 by Henri IV and inaugurated by his son Louis XIII in 1612. With harmonious red-brick and stone arcaded façades and steeply pitched slate roofs, it differs from the later pomp of the Bourbons. Laid out symmetrically with carriageways through Pavillon de la Reine on the north side and Pavillon du Roi on the south, the other lots were sold off as concessions to officials and nobles (some façades are imitation brick). It was called place Royale prior to the Napoleonic Wars, when the Vosges was the first region to pay its war taxes. Mme de Sévigné, salon hostess and letter-writer, was born at no.1bis in 1626. At that time the garden hosted duels and trysts; now it attracts children from the nearby nursery school.