It first started construction back in 1806 and there was
originally a statue of Napoleon placed on top. This was then replaced by a likeness
of Henri IV, but was removed during the 100 Days that Napoleon returned from Elba when he
was attempting to regain power back in 1815.
After this King Louis XVIII installed an enormous fleur-de-lys, but upon taking the throne
King Louis-Philippe restored Napoleon in his military uniform.
Unfortunately during the Commune in 1871 there was a group of Communards, who were led by
the artist Gustave Courbet and they decided to tear down the column.
Gustave Corbet was ordered to pay to have the monument erected again, but he didn't and
eventually died in Switzerland in exile in 1877, but the monumental Colonne de Vendome was
still re-established at the centre of Place Vendome with a copy of the original statue on
top prior to his death.
There is actually a staircase with the column, but unfortunately, so as to preserve this Paris monument for as long as possible for generations
to come and enjoy, they have stopped it being open to the public.
But at least you now know some of the history behind it and can still admire the column
from the outside, before you drool over the fabulous items in the boutiques!
Colonne de Vendome
Ile de france