What’s New in Paris: Place de la Rèpublique, Traffic Jams, Caractère de Cochon

June 12, 2013By Paris UpdateWhat's New Potpourri

Paris Update What’s New in Paris

Paris Update Place-de-la-Republique-pavillon

After two years of work, Paris’s new Place de la République is scheduled to be unveiled to the public this Sunday, June 16. The new people-friendlier square will boast reduced automobile traffic, with special lanes for buses, taxis and bikes, as well as a glass-walled café called Monde et Média (to open in July), which will offer access to news publications on paper and on tablet computers. Games can be borrowed from a booth called the “L’R de Jeux,” and poppy-red benches and tables provide a place to sit.

The statue of Marianne, the symbol of France, in the center has been restored, new trees have been planted, and a mirror fountain with water jets has been installed for kids to splash around in.

Let’s check back in a year to see whether this once rather unsavory square has resisted the gritty realities of city life and remained as wholesome as the city hoped to make it with this renovation.


Parisian automobile drivers spend an average of 155 hours (nearly a full week) in traffic jams per year, and their average speed is 17 kilometers per hour, about the same as that of a bicycle.


A new shop, Caractère de Cochon, Paris’s only ham specialist, offers the finest examples from all over the world, including Spain and Italy, of course, but also Hungary, Lithuania and the Black Forest. Buy it by the slice or in a sandwich. 42, rue Charlot, 75003 Paris.


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