Paris, France ENCOUNTER WITH HISTORY AND PRESTIGE: Just like Versailles, place Vend?me bears witness to one of French history's most glorious periods: the reign of Louis XIV. The building at no.1 gives the square its name, because it is the site of the ancient Vend?me family's residence. Three centuries of art, culture, and elegance make this a unique address in Paris. Hotel de Vend?me is a unique jewel, an image of the precious stones which surround it. The harmony of its shades, lights, marbles, and flowers provide the style of a beautiful residence . Today, H?tel de Vend?me represents the distinguished elegance of Parisian deluxe hotels, shining over Paris' most brilliant neighbourhood, with haute couture, antique dealers, art galleries, the Opera, and the Louvre Museum. HISTORY OF THE PLACE VENDOME AND HOTEL DE VENDOME: Place Vend?me is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful architectural sites in Paris. It was built on the iniative of Louvois, chief steward of buildings under Louis XIV. Construction began in 1686 under the management of JH Mansart and Boffrand. The square has an octagonal shape, open at the centre of its south and north sides. It was first called 'Place des Conqu?tes', then 'Louis le Grand', from 1699 to the Revolution. From 1793 to 1799 it was known as the place 'Des Piques'. It finally became Place Vend?me, named after an ancient residence, except for 1871, when the Commune (Paris revolutionary government) named it 'Place Internationale' At the dawn of the third millennium, this square has not lost its attraction and prestige, housing the most famous names in jewellery. The Colonne Vend?me replaced the ancient equestrian statue of Louis XIV in 1806 (which dated from 1699). Napoleon had a 43-meter column built on an original white marble 10-meter pedestal, a pure imitation of the Trajane column in Rome, to honour the soldiers who won the battle of Austerlitz. The Hotel de Vend?me was built in 1723 for Pierre Perrin, who was secretary to King louis XIV. From 1736, it changed several hands, from being the headquarters of the crown property department, to becoming the Embassy of the Republic of Texas from 1842 to 1843. In 1858, the tone was set for the building, when it was converted into a H?tel. Kindly note that since January 1st 2006, due to governmental decision, the city tax is at the rate of 2 EUROS per person per day.