La Fiermontina Vendome . Paris . France .

A grandiose setting that embodies absolute power in the very heart of Paris, Place Vendôme was commissioned in 1698 by Louis XIV and designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart. “Le Roi Soleil” (the Sun King) wanted a deluxe space in which grand royal events could take place. Through the decades, the finest jewelry houses opened their stores and ateliers there. Nowadays, this square is definitely the emblem of French luxury. The Hôtel de Bourvaillas, at number 13 Place Vendôme, houses the Ministry of Justice; a marble metre is reproduced on its facade, to make Parisians familiar with the new measurement unit introduced during the French Revolution. The Ritz Hotel, at N.15, has welcomed over the years the most distinguished customers, such as Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin, Rodolfo Valentino, Maria Callas and Coco Chanel, who died in her suite.