Supreme symbol of Parisian chic, the place Vendôme is densely populated by jewelry stores and anything else that can approch the same level of quality and price tags : the Ritz Hotel, for example. The square’s facades were designed in 1685 by Hardouin-Mansart as an aptly gracious setting for an equestrian statue of Louis XIV by Girardon. This effigy did not outlast the energies of the mob during the Revolution and it was duly felled, to be replaced by the present bronze column. This was initially crowned by a figure of Napoleon, in 1814 a statue of  Henri IV took over, but after several more changes, including the toppling of the column by the Communards, a copy of Napoleon’s original statue resumed its post. The bronze itself came from canons captured at the Battle of Austerlitz.