1777

Square: 1 to 1.32

Width Face to Face: 95 ft. (29 m)

Length: Face to Face: 125 ft. (38 m)

Height: 5 and 6 Stories plus attic level

Place du Marche Sainte-Catherine, Paris

This small square about 350 feet east of the Place de Vosges was the pick of New Urbanist and Knight Fellow Joe Molinaro who was one of the original signers of the charter for New Urbanism in the early 1990s. Joe’s comments are instructive: “A small square in Paris that I found to be perfect  –  it is very small and is surrounded on three sides by restaurants, with lots of restaurant tables on the sidewalks facing the square. 

It is called Place du Marche Sainte Catherine.  …It is…right off Rue Caron.  It is very much “tucked away” behind larger blocks, and the place has a very tight feel of enclosure….I think it is a good example of just how small a square can be and still work.”

The square is quite small

Place du Marche Sainte-Catherine

and its intimacy is enhanced by the placement for two files of four trees about forty feet apart and the closure on the south end by six substantial square bollards plus three carefully positioned decorative street lamp poles. The square is entirely hard surfaced.  It is further enhanced by being the terminus of the Rue Caron.

The French had made a vow to Sainte Catherine to erect a church here if they won the Battle of Bouvines. King Louise IX (Saint-Louis), under the reign of Blanche of Castille, placed the first stone in what was known then as the Valley of the Ecoliers. The convent of Sainte Catherine of the Val-des-Ecoliers was destroyed in the 18th century and replaced by the market in the year 1777.  (www.insucula.com/salle/photo_MS01224.html).

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