A statue commemorating general Kléber
Previously called the Barfüsserplatz (meaning barefoot square, due to the Franciscan monastery there), the square became the Waffenplatz (or weapon square) in the 17th century and then Place Kléber on 24 June 1840, at the inauguration of the mausoleum devoted to Strasbourg general Jean-Baptiste Kléber, whose ashes are buried in the base.
In 1768, king’s architect Jacques-François Blondel drew up plans for making it a ceremonial square, as part of an ambitious project for modernising and embellishing the city. This ambitious project failed to get beyond the planning stage, due to lack of funding and the looming revolution, except for a single building, the Aubette, which runs along the northern part of the square, built in 1770 as a guardhouse for the Royal Garrison.
One of the focal points for tourists in Strasbourg
The square has undergone many changes over the centuries and is now a fully pedestrianised area, frequented by shoppers and tourists. In 2007, it was completely redeveloped, under the supervision of French landscaper Gilles Clément. With its flower beds and water jets, the square is now a regular venue for cultural, charity, commercial and sports events. Along 3 of its sides, it is bordered by buildings from very different periods, ranging from the Middle Ages up to the late 20th century.
- Tram A, B, C, D or F - Homme de Fer stop