Place Vendome is one of the most world-famous of Paris squares. It is situated in the Ist arrondissement of the capital. It was in 1677 that the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart first had the idea of the Place Vendome. The work began in 1685. The facades of the buildings were actually built before the buildings themselves. It was only in 1699 that private mansions were built behind the facades, all identical to each other. At the centre of the square there stood an equestrian statue of Louis XIV, which was destroyed during the Revolution. The famous Vendome column was added in 1810. A bronze column with a statue of Napoleon I and decorated with a spiral sculpted with war scenes. Today, Place Vendome is home to prestigious jewellery shops, the most famous haute couture shops and splendid luxury hotels.