Square Rene Viviani, Paris

4.6
#715 of 2,929 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.
The 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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
59 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Want to see the oldest tree in Paris come here. Want great views of Notre-Dame without anyone around...come here! This is just a great park for viewing Notre-Dame. I would recommend coming here if you...  more »
  • I heard about this from a Rick Steve’s interview with Elaine Sciolino, who wrote an excellent NYT article about the gardens of Paris. The square has the oldest tree in Paris, a seedling from Virginia ...  more »
Google
  • Town center old town a lot of out door restaurant in summer time on August beautiful nice place
  • Beautiful small park with views over notre dame, wonderful smelling roses and peaceful feeling 😀
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