Hidden on a pillar amongst the many Parisian sunbathers at the Place des Vosges hides the oldest graffiti in Paris. You won't find this in the pages of Rick Steve's guidebooks, and you would be hard pressed to find a tourists with a selfie stick waiting their turn for a pictures and thousands walk right past it everyday and never notice.
Just outside No 11 Place de Vosges halfway up the pillar the faintest of markings can still be found. For it was here on this stone pillar that in 1764 a man from Bourgoun, Nicolas Restif de la Bretonneleft a little something behind. Restif de la Bretonne (1734-1806) was a printmaker and typographer that moved to Paris and later became a controversial author who would stroll the city streets for inspiration leaving behind hundreds of markings on the city walls. He was given the very fitting nickname "the griffon" (the scribbler) but the residents of Paris. Today only one marking remains and it is here in the beautiful Place des Vosges. .
1764 NICOLA is etched just as clear today and can still be seen 253 years later in the very same place. Today many corners of Paris are covered with graffiti from the amazing street artists like Invader, Banksy, Blek le Rat and so many more. But they all owe a little something to old Nicola and his midnight Paris strolls.