République is the central axis touching three arrondissements: the 10th, the 11th, and the 3rd. The 10th side of République is full of restaurants, bars, boutique hotels and shops, leading east to the Canal. The statue in the middle is of Marianne, the French version of Lady Liberty. Unlike Lady Liberty (although she, too, is French but made for puritanical American tastes, so, sadly, no ~intentional~ nip slips…), Marianne is very Frenchily flashing one proud breast out of her stony toga.
This large square is the real deal: everyone, from skaters, protesters of heretofore unimaginable stripes (Turkish communists? Pro-Putin Russians?), graffiti artists, basic-ass commuters, religious proselytizers (so refreshingly rare in the land of Laïcité!)and, of course, les drug dealers de Paris, use it daily. Even the infamous pickpocket gang reconvenes here at about 6–7pm, after a day of stealing your shit at the Louvre, etc, before they gather together and head to their communal hideout in some unsurveilled part of the suburbs. For once I’m not joking.