The place was named place Neuve (″New Square″) in the reign of the duke of Lorraine Charles III. So, where did this name of Carrière (″manege″) come from? Because tournaments used to take place here!
We were in the middle of the 16th century and they decided that jousts would take place here. They raised wooden fences, some high hoarding, and the square became place de la Carrière.
Duke Leopold transformed the square from top to bottom. He destroyed the half of the ducal palace overlooking the square: on this location, he asked architect Boffrand to raise the Louvre (a building razed by the city in 1745).
But it was Leopold’s successor, Stanislas, who made the biggest transformations: the square had to be the extension of the Royal Square (current place Stanislas). So… the building work began!
First, they had to raise several townhouses and the palace of the Government, the former Intendance (″Bursar’s office″). A nice house raised on the foundations of the Louvre… Architect Héré raised it for the chancellor La Galaizière, Stan’s steward.
Then, when this one died, the commandant de Stainville settled here as the new governor of Lorraine. The place was named the Government. High society came! King of France Charles X in 1828, king Louis-Philippe in 1831, archduke Ferdinand-Maximilian (the future Mexican emperor) in 1856, Napoléon III in 1858, empress Eugenia and emperor François-Joseph II in 1866 and 1867...
They also raised 4 fountains on each corners of the square, with children hunting or fishing. The fountain by Cyfflé is today place d'Alliance, but it used to be on the place de la Carrière, until 1756! In 1752, they raised the Stock Exchange, with its nice wrought iron decoration made by Jean Lamour.
Do you know that in 1751, the city archives mentioned the planting of 116 lime trees? Yes, to hide the high wooden fences, vestiges of the jousts from Charles III’s era!