The Place de la Comédie had its beginnings in the 17th and 18th centuries when religious and political reform brought wealthy investors into the area. The elaborate and impressive architecture around the perimeter only enhances the vigor of this meeting place for tourists and locals alike.
The best way to approach the Place de la Comédie is from the Esplanade d’Europe, a tree and fountain-lined park. The Esplanade connects the city’s large meeting place, the Corum, to the vibrant Place de la Comédie. On most days, this walk will allow you the pleasures of interacting with the local vendors.
Tents are set up along the way selling a host of items including local made honeys and jams, fresh flowers, and clothing. To one side of the Esplanade d’Europe lies a beautiful park area with a looping walking trail and many open areas to sit and relax. This offers the perfect opportunity for a picnic in town.
Upon arriving at the Place de la Comédie, the sky opens up, local musicians fill the air with beautiful melodies, and there are people walking, sitting, eating, and simply enjoying the moment. The main area of the Place is to the right, ending at the old Theatre and the unforgettable Fontaine des Trois-Graces created by Etienne d’Antoine. This fountain boasts three beautiful statues upon a mossy hill surrounded by little cherub statues. On a hot summer day, it isn’t surprising to see people cooling their feet in the water or encouraging their thirsty dogs to drink
All varieties of restaurants line the Place, consisting mostly of traditional French cuisine but not to leave out the tribute to modern fast food; a two-story McDonald’s. Many of these restaurants offer covered dining outside that not only lend themselves to the climate but also provide the perfect opportunity for people watching.
Shopping brings many interested, and interesting, people to this area of town. Walking down the side streets that are filled with shops, bars, and restaurants, is almost like taking a step back in time because the area has not changed much since it was initially developed. For a most authentic experience try Rue des Etuves, Rue Jean Moulin, Rue de l’Ancien Courrier, and Rue de l’Aiguillerie.
Getting to the Place de la Comédie
Although the most breath-taking views of the Place de la Comédie are from the Esplanade side, the most efficient way to reach the Place from the train station is to go straight up rue Maguelone. This will bring you just to the right of the Theatre and in front of the Fontaine des Trois-Graces.
If you are coming from out of town, there are 22 flights a day from/to Paris and direct flights from/to Lille, Strasbourg, Nice, Bordeaux, and Corisca. There are also trains that leave daily from/to Paris.
By Kole Strippelhoff, a freelance writer and travel aficionado from Marietta, Ga.