History of Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde, situated between the Champs-Élysées to the west and the Tuileries Garden to the east, is the largest square in Paris. The square was designed by Jacques-Ange Gabriel and the construction was completed in 1763. A statue of Louis XV, who ruled at that time, was erected here and the place was named Place Louis XV.
In 1792, during the French revolution, the statue of Louis XV was torn down and a new statue called Liberté (freedom) was erected on its place. The square was renamed Place de la Révolution and a guillotine was constructed in the area. Here King Louis XV of France and Queen Marie Antoinette were executed in 1793. Many others lost their lives on the guillotine in 1794. Next year it was removed. Since then the square changed its name several times until 1830, when it was called Place de la Concorde.
Nowadays in the center of the square you can see a giant 3,300-year-old Egyptian obelisk. It was given to France from the Egyptian government in 1829. The Obelisk of Luxor (Obélisque de Louxor) is decorated with hieroglyphics picturing the reign of pharaoh Ramses II. The pictures on its pedestal describe the transportation and installation of the obelisk in Paris. It is also known as L’aiguille de Cléopâtre, or Cleopatra’s Needle.
The two fountains on Place de la Concorde are built during the reign of Louis Philippe I. They are designed by Jacques Ignace Hittorff, who was inspired by the fountains on the Piazza Navona and the Piazza San Pietro in Rome. The north fountain on Place de la Concorde represents the rivers and the south is dedicated to the seas.
Tips for visiting Place de la Concorde
Don’t miss a visit at night, when the square is illuminated.
Address: Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris
Access: Metro station Concorde – lines 1, 8 or 12
Opening hours: 24 hours a day
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