Square du Vert Galant in Paris
This square in Paris is located on the Ile de la Cite by the oldest bridge in Paris called the Pont Neuf and is one of the gardens by the Place Pont Neuf and the Place Dauphine, which was named after King Henri IV.
A bit of history
The Ile de la Cite is the true history of Paris from when it was known as Lutetia, and was originally made up of small islands in the middle of the River Seine that were occupied for centuries.
But this changed under the reign of King Henri II when the islands were joined and he ordered the construction of the Pont Neuf, which despite its name, is the oldest bridge in Paris. And yet it was only completed during the reign of King Henri IV who also ordered the construction of what was the Place Royale, which is now known as the Place des Vosges.
Then, during the construction of the Place des Vosges, he also ordered another square in Paris to be formed that was named Le Square de la Place Dauphine after his son, the future King Louis XIII and this is next to the Square du Vert Galant on the western end of the Ile de la Cite.
But we seem to be getting ahead of ourselves a little, as the very western point, which is now the Square du Vert Galant, was originally deserted until a gentleman started bathhouses here in the 18th century that became exceeding popular.
Yet by the 1830s these ceased to operate and for a short time the garden of the Vert Galant was home to a cafe and concert venue until the area flooded from the River Seine, which was a regular occurrence in Paris at the time.
Then this area was transferred to the City of Paris by the French state in 1884 and carried the nickname of King Henri IV who was well known for his love life, which has still remained the same today. This is even though there is also an equestrian statue of him located by the Square du Vert Galant and the Place Dauphine, which was commissioned by his widow Marie de Medicis after the death of King Henri IV.
About Square du Vert Galant in Paris
The Square du Vert Galant is spread over an area of approximately 1,600 metres squared and obtained a label known as an Ecological Green Space back in 2007, and you can understand why with the vast amount of flora and fauna, which has become a popular tourist attraction in Paris for a romantic stroll.
You will be able to enjoy numerous different species of trees such as yew, chestnut, maple, black walnut with its edible nuts, weeping willows, ginkgo biloba and Bohemian olive trees that produce a soft fruit, which is often utilised in sorbets.
Yet being at the Western tip of the Ile de la Cite, you can sit on a bench relaxing and admire the magnificent views over the River Seine to places such as the Hotel de la Monnaie that is home to the royal mint, and the Musee du Louvre, which is no doubt the most famous museum in Paris, if not in the world.
But there is also a vast amount of different species of wildlife to enjoy, like swans, ducks, coots, wagtails and many others, not forgetting that the company called Bateaux Vedettes du Pont-Neuf also operate boat tours on the River Seine from the Square du Vert Galant as well.
Access to Square du Vert Galant
This garden in Paris is open from 8am each weekday and 9am on weekends and holidays, and normally closes as the evening draws in, such as around 5pm to 6pm in winter months, but not until around 8.30pm to 9pm in summer.
You can of course access the Square du Vert Galant via the Pont Neuf bridge and from the Place Dauphine, but if you are utilising the public transport in Paris then you would need the Pont Neuf Metro stop on line 7.
Square du Vert Galant, Ile de la Cite, 75001, Paris, Ile de France, France
Square du Vert Galant photos
Paris Metro lines 4, 7
Bus lines 21, 24, 27
Bus line 38
Bus line 58
Bus lines 70, 72, 74, 75
Bus lines 82, 87
Bus line 96
Night bus lines N12, N13, N14, N15, N16
Night bus lines N21, N22
Water bus service
Attractions close by
King Henri IV
Square de la Place Dauphine
Institut de France
Pont des Arts
Jewish Children's monument
Musee en Herbe
Musee du Louvre
Chacha Club Bar
Le Procope restaurant
Notre Dame de Paris
Place du Chatelet