Saint-Germain-des-Pres 16 copyright French Moments
  • Home
  • Blog
  • Place de Furstemberg, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris

Last Updated: 30 July 2023

Situated in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th arrondissement), the tiny Place de Furstemberg is one of Paris’ most charming squares with its elegant lamp posts.


Who is the Place de Furstemberg named after?

Although the tiny Place de Furstemberg may be the smallest square in Paris, its charm is undeniable.

Situated near the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, it owes its name to the famous Prince de Furstenberg, William Egon of Fürstenberg (1629 – 1704).

Saint-Germain-des-Pres © French Moments
The elegant lamp posts of the square © French Moments

The German clergyman, once bishop of Metz and Strasbourg, retired to Paris in 1697, where he was appointed abbot of St-Germain-des-Prés.

He created the three streets of Rue Cardinale, passage de la Petite-Boucherie and Rue de Furstemberg on the forecourt of the abbatial palace. Rue de Furstemberg itself was opened on the site of the abbey’s stables.

The count died at age 74 in Paris on the 10th of April, 1704.

Rue de Furstemberg © French Moments
The former Abbot’s palace © French Moments


Not really a square!

Place de Furstemberg is not technically a square but a street (rue de Furstemberg or Furstenberg) with a small roundabout for traffic.

Four paulownias have been planted in its centre.

The place has a romantic feel and elegant Parisian-style lamp posts, particularly at night when the five globes are lit up.

Romantic places in Paris: Place Furstemberg © French Moments
Romantic Places in Paris: Place Furstemberg © French Moments


Eugène Delacroix and Rue de Furstemberg

Painter Eugène Delacroix used to live there, and his former dwelling today houses the Delacroix Museum.

The Musée National Eugène-Delacroix occupies the former flat and studio of the painter Eugène Delacroix.

It is quite a unique and captivating museum space in central Paris.

Since the museum was founded in 1932, its collections have brought together more than a thousand works. They include works by Delacroix – paintings, drawings, prints, manuscripts – as well as objects that belonged to him and works created by artists who admired him.


Place de Furstemberg in movies

The street appears in several films:

  • Sans laisser d’adresse (1951), by Jean-Paul Le Chanois, with Bernard Blier and Danièle Delorme.
  • Gigi (1958), by Vincente Minelli, in which the actor Louis Jourdan makes a singing performance.
  • The Age of Innocence (1993), by Martin Scorsese. The street appears in the last scene of the film.

Read more about the neighbourhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.


The new face of the Place de Furstemberg in 2023

In July 2023, Paris City Hall took a decision that caused quite a stir among residents of the 6th arrondissement.

Five trees, including a majestic specimen on the Place de Furstemberg in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, were felled to protect the safety of users.

This measure has provoked passionate reactions from residents, who have expressed their sadness and concern on social networks.

On Twitter, historian Eric Anceau intensely lamented the loss of the giant tree in the rue de Furstemberg, describing it as the most charming spot in Paris, which he has known since childhood.

Other Internet users also criticised the decision, using the hashtag #saccageParis, which residents had created to denounce the fouling and degradation of the capital.

In a press release, the City of Paris tree department attempted to justify the felling by pointing out that the trees were diseased and had poor anchorage, which could lead to them falling.

Despite these explanations, the images of the felling moved many Parisians. The paulownia on rue de Furstemberg, the largest and oldest of all the Parisian specimens with a circumference of 355 cm, leaves a striking void in the landscape. To allay concerns, the authorities have announced a replanting plan for next winter.

Paulownias, imported from Asia in the 19th century, are trees with bright purple flowers that can reach heights up to 20 metres.

However, their weak root system has raised concerns about their stability. Architect Tangui Le Dantec explains that these trees tend to favour rapid growth towards the light in their early years, which can be detrimental to their balance, unlike other species.

Despite these clarifications, the debate surrounding the felling of these beloved trees persists within the Parisian community.


Gems of Paris by French Moments
About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

Like it? Leave a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Transparency: Some blog posts and pages may contain affiliate or sponsored links. If you are planning a trip, the use of these links helps us to run the site. There is no additional cost to you. All you have to do is click on the link and any booking you make is automatically tracked. Thank you for your support!

Escape to France with every email! Get insider insights, travel guides, cultural gems delivered and exclusive offers to your inbox twice a week. Your journey to Paris and France begins when you sign up!



Ebook 20 amazing offbeat places in Paris front cover