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Place de la Concorde In Paris

The Place de la Concorde is the largest square in Paris and covers an octagonal area of over 8 hectares.

This well known historical square that preserves the general appearance of the 18th century is situated in the 8th arrondissement of Paris and it was started in around 1748 but not completed until 1763.  Jacques-Ange Gabriel who was the architect for King Louis XV designed the square, which was originally called the Place Louis XV, and its purpose was to showcase a statue of the King on a horse. 

Also, this was once bordered by large moats that no longer exist, plus the square is an intersection for two axes and the main axis is the Voie Triomphale, which translates to Triumphal Way.

Place de la Concorde

- Place de la Concorde
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Place de la Concorde In Paris

This forms a straight line from the former royal palace, which is now the famous museum in Paris called The Louvre, through the Tuileries Gardens, up the Avenue des Champs Elysees, to the Arc de Triomphe and now going through to the Grande Arche in the Defense area of Paris.

Unfortunately this square has become known in history for many bloody events that took place here and this was one of the reasons why the square was renamed to Place de la Concorde after the French Revolution.

One terrible event that took place here was when many people were trampled to death trying to watch the fireworks at Marie Antoinette's wedding.  But the most horrific time in the history of this square that most people relate to, is during the French Revolution when the statue was removed and then a guillotine was erected in its place and the square was renamed from Place Louis XV to Place de la Revolution.

Located along the River Seine between the Tuileries Gardens of The Louvre Museum and the start of the Avenue des Champs Elysees this is the square that many people will know as the place where many people were beheaded, which included Marie Antoinette, after they had been detained in the oldest prison in France called La Conciergerie.

It was after the French Revolution that change to the name of the Place de la Concorde, it was actually finished under the reign of King Louis Philippe.  An obelisk called the Luxor Obelisk was erected where the original statue had stood and this particular monolith was a gift from the viceroy of Egypt, Mehemet Ali. There are also two fountains at two of the edges. 

Also in this famous Paris square there were statues created by Jacob Hittorf and put in place to symbolise some of the major cities in France, such as Bordeaux in the Aquitaine region, Lyon in the Rhone-Alpes region and Marseille in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region.

There are eight of these statues in total that are at the corners of the octagon shaped square and another one that represents Strasbourg in the Alsace region of France was actually modelled by Juliette Drouet who was a muse of Victor Hugo.

There was also a statue of a group of horses that was put in place at the entrance to the Avenue des Champs Elysees and this statue known as the Horses of Marly by the French sculptor Guillaume Coustou, is now on show at the Louvre Museum, but there is a replica in its place.

The Place de la Concorde is bordered to the north by l'Hôtel Crillon, to the east by the Jeu de Paume and L'Orangerie of the Tuileries, to the west by the beginning of the Avenue des Champs Elysees.  To the south of the square is the bridge called Pont de la Concorde that was built by Jean-Rodolphe Perronnet between 1787 and 1790 and enlarged between 1930 and 1932 crossing the River Seine it leads to the Palais Bourbon, which is home of the French National Assembly.

But the most recent change to take place at the square, was when the obelisk had a pyramidion made of bronze and gold leaf added in 1998 to celebrate relations between France and Egypt.

And apart from the fact that the ground itself is now made of concrete and tarmac, this fabulous square is still very similar to how it was back in the 18th century and with its heritage plus being full of history, it is a great place to visit and admire the surroundings.


Place de la Concorde



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