French Language Blog

La Place Dauphine – Paris Posted by on Nov 19, 2019 in Culture, Vocabulary

I’ve been to Paris so often that sometimes I think I must have seen it all (even though I know I have so much more to discover!) On my recent trip, I got to discover one of those little hidden gems that make Paris so wonderful … and I had been walking right by it for years!

La place des Vosges will always be one of my favorite place (public square) in Paris. But after watching un reportage1You can watch the reportage – including people playing boules – on YouTube here. (a story/news story) recently from Des racines et des ailes, I knew that on my next trip to Paris I needed to make my way to la place Dauphine.

La place Dauphine 

Dating back to the 17th century (1607), la place Dauphine, like la place des Vosges, was built under Henri IV. Originally called place Royale, it was renamed in honor of the king’s son, the future Louis XIII, and dauphin de France.

Dauphin (which also means dolphin) is the name traditionally attributed to the heir to the throne of France (at least as far back as the 14th when it was a condition of France’s absorption of a neighboring principality)2A little bit like Prince Charles in England is the Prince of Wales.

Stepping into la place Dauphine is like stepping out of the city … and out of time. While you are just steps away from the Seine, and the traffic of the Île de la Cité,it feels a world away from the cares of today. When we were there, there were even people playing pétanques (or boules) right in the middle of the park.

Situated at the end of the Île de la Cité, la place Dauphine is situated between the Palais de Justice (home to the highest court in France) and the parc du Vert-Galant (and a statue of Henri IV).

My only regret is that I didn’t have more time to sit and enjoy. I know that on my next trip to Paris, I’ll be making some time to flâner (stroll, wander) around la place and enjoy myself.

  • 1
    You can watch the reportage – including people playing boules – on YouTube here. 
  • 2
    A little bit like Prince Charles in England is the Prince of Wales
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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.


  1. Klaus:

    More in French please

    • Tim Hildreth:

      @Klaus Thank you for your comment, Klaus. I hope that across l’ensemble de nos blogs you will find enough French to keep you learning. As I work to meet the needs of all our learners, I try and mix topics (de la musique, culture, histoire, politique, faits divers) and different amounts of actual French language. Bonne lecture! Tim