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The Place Vendôme was built when Louis XIV wanted to create a monument to his glory and embellish Paris and facilitate traffic in the process. He did so by purchasing the Hôtel Vendôme and part of the Convent des Capucines. A large equestrian statue depicting Louis as a Roman emperor was set up in the square on 13 August 1699 for his birthday.
The King also profited by selling the land behind the housefronts, which he himself had financed, to prominent financiers of the elite. Through time however, the attic apartments came to house more modest tenants, such as Alfred de Vigny. In August 1792, Louis' statue was hacked down to make cannons.