I went to see the Marais de Temple, where are a noble church and palace, heretofore dedicated to the Knights Templar, now converted to a piazza, not much unlike ours at Covent Garden; but large and not so pleasant, though built all about with divers considerable palaces.
The Church of St. Geneviève is a place of great devotion, dedicated to another of their Amazons, said to have delivered the city from the English; for which she is esteemed the tutelary saint of Paris. It stands on a steep eminence, having a very high spire, and is governed by canons regular. At the Palais Royal Henry IV. built a fair quadrangle of stately palaces, arched underneath. In the middle of a spacious area, stands on a noble pedestal a brazen statue of Louis XIII.,1 which, though made in imitation of that in the Roman capitol, is nothing so much esteemed as that on the Pont Neuf.
The hospital of the Quinze-Vingts2, in the Rue St. Honoré, is an excellent foundation; but above all is the Hôtel Dieu3 for men and women, near Nôtre Dame, a princely, pious, and expensive structure. That of the Charité4 gave me great satisfaction, in seeing how decently and christianly the sick people are attended, even to delicacy. I have seen them served by noble persons, men and women. They have also gardens, walks, and fountains. Divers persons are here cut for the stone, with great success, yearly in May. The two Châtelets5 (supposed to have been built by Julius Cæsar) are places of judicature in criminal causes; to which is a strong prison. The courts are spacious and magnificent.
The bronze of Louis XIII., erected by Richelieu in 1639, was destroyed in1792. An equestrian statue by Dupaty and Cortot has now taken its place, and the Place Royale (not “Palais Royal“) is now called the Place des Vosges. ↩
The Hôpital de la Charité, in the Rue des Saints Pères, is — or is shortly to be — pulled down. –AD. In fact the Hôpital de la Charité were demolished around 1935 to make place for the new Faculté de médecine de Paris -GS. ↩