(b. ca. 1560, Châlons-sur-Marne, d. 1616, Paris)

Project of the Place de France in Paris

British Museum, London

In the last of Henry IV's great town-planning projects, the Place de France (conceived c. 1608), the practical and symbolical sides were both clearly emphasized. Only a small part of the scheme was carried out, but we know the whole from the engraving prepared by Claude Chastillon, who in the legend tells us that he and the engineer Jacques Alleaume were responsible for the design. It consisted of a semicircular space closed along the diameter by the walls of Paris between the Porte St Antoine and the Porte du Temple. In the middle of this diameter was a new gate, the Porte de France. Round the circumference were seven buildings for markets and other public services, separated by roads leading radially from the Place itself. These roads were cut by an outer ring of streets, some distance behind the market buildings. Each street bore the name of a French province, so that the whole plan was a symbol of national as well as civic pride.