Square Barye is a little green area (and the only one!) of Île Saint-Louis, which was opened in 1938. Despite its rather modest size, a various amount of different plants and trees (Lebanese cedars, Irish yews, elms, weeping willows,.. ) can be found there.
The square is named after Antoine-Louis Barye, a French sculptor of animals of the Romantic Period, and adorned with a monument which was composed of his works in 1894. The fact is that the famous sculptor was living just nearby (4 quai des Célestins), so 20 years after his death he was honored by this monument which is made by Laurent Marqueste, another famous French sculptor.
But the story goes on.
The biggest figures of the monument — Theseus Combating the Centaur Bianor and the Lion — were melted down during the occupation in World War II, but in 2011 (Theseus) and 2014 (The Lion) almost exact copies of the original bronze statues was cast and put back at the top of the pedestals.
And what now? Now Square Barye is a lovely quiet place with benches, playgrounds and flowerbeds, and it’s always nice to have some rest there during your way from rive gauche to rive droite. Besides it all, it’s still the best place to enjoy your Berthillon ice cream.
Address: 2 Boulevard Henri IV, 75004 Paris.