In 1789, the Place des Vosges was still called the “Place Royale”: a square built in honor of King Louis XIII. For revolutionaries, the city could not be used for the monarchy’s cult of personality. The square was then rechristened. Since that was where cannons and weapons were stored, it became the “Place du Parc-d’Artillerie” when the war broke out in 1792. It was then renamed “Place des Fédérés” (August 19, 1792), followed by the “Place de l’Indivisibilité” (July 4, 1793) and eventually, with its current name on September 13, 1800, in honor of the civic-mindedness of the people from the Vosges, who were the first to pay their taxes that year.
In 1789 and even after King Louis XVI’s treason in June 1791, the statue of King Louis XIII, which had presided over the center of the current Place des Vosges since 1639, did not seem to bother anyone. However, the day after the Tuileries was stormed and the monarchy had fallen (August 10, 1792), the sans-culottes knocked down the statue from its pedestal and removed its accompanying inscriptions. At the same time, the statue of Henri IV was removed from the Pont Neuf. The message was clear: the image of kings had become intolerable on the streets of Paris.