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There’s so much to see and do in Paris’s 9th Arrondissement. There’s the Opéra Garnier, les Folies Bergère, le Musée de la Vie Romantique and le Musée Grévin. And you can’t forget retail giants, and architectural gems, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. But tucked away off the beaten path, there’s a little square worthy of a king: Place Édouard VII.
As the name reveals, this lovely place was designed and built in 1911 as a token of affection for British King Edward VII, who was known to be enamoured with Paris throughout his life. The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, a bon vivant and a well-liked king, Edward was known to favor actresses; celebrities of the era like Sarah Bernhardt and Lillie Langtry were counted among his many mistresses. It’s no surprise then that a square dedicated to Edward was built steps from a theater which also bears his name to this day: Théâtre Edouard VII.
British architect W.G.R. Sprague built the theater in 1913. Remarkably creative, he was a theater architect whose portfolio included about 40 London theaters in total (of which only 13 remain today). The Théâtre Edouard VII initially showed early films, but then converted to live theater in 1916. Its history is rich with performances by famous French stage stars such as Lucien and Sacha Guitry, Arletty, Juliette Gréco, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Pierre Arditi, Emmanuelle Béart, Isabelle Huppert, Michel Piccoli, Claude and Alexandre Brasseur, and more. Still in operation today, the building hosts both a live play auditorium as well as a movie theater.
To cater to the theatergoers, several restaurants and cafés line the square and the Rue Édouard VII, which connects the square to Boulevard des Capucines. Mon Paris! is a personal favorite, with its signature blue tabletops, a decent wine list, and a trendy atmosphere. If you’d like to stay in the area and further explore the neighborhood, Sofitel Le Scribe and Indigo Paris-Opéra are just around the corner.
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