There is nothing as nice on a warm summer night as to refresh near the Fountain of the Seas or the Fountain of the Rivers. The two fountains (architect J-I. Hittorf), inaugurated in 1840, celebrate the river navigation (northern fountain, with seated figures representing the Rhine and the Rhone and harvests of grapes and corn) and sea transport (southern fountain, with the Mediterranean, the Ocean and fishing). Several artists realized the statues.
As these statues and decorations were made of cast iron coated with bronze paints in various shades or gilded, they had to undergo many repair and maintenance work. The paintings of the fountains already faded in 1844. Furthermore they were very much damaged during the troubled period of the "Commune". New parts were cast in 1871 and the fountains received a protection against corrosion by electrolytic copper deposit.
What we see now results from a new and complete restoration made in 2000 and the effect is very colourful especially at night with the lights and the water running with a high rate of flow.
The fountains are much appreciated as we could see from the huge limousine stopping near the fountain. The people inside were not celebrities but a group of tourists who had won some excursion in Paris.
After my visit at the Conciergerie and the cell of Marie-Antoinette I took the way to the Place de la Concorde. The Queen had followed this way to the guillotine on October 16, 1793. It's a long humiliating way she was forced, hands bind in her back, to do in a dirty cart.
Louis XVI had been brought to the scaffold in a closed coach 10 months before the Queen.
It's difficult to imagine now standing at Place de la Concorde with all the traffic around what was this Place de la Révolution (named so in 1792) where the guillotine stood in the years 1793-94 of the "Terreur". More than 1100 persons were executed here.
King Louis XVI on Jan. 21, 1793, Marie-Antoinette on Oct. 16, 1793 and many persons of the royal family. Leaders of the Revolution like Danton and Robespierre were also beheaded here.
Actually there were more executions (1306) at the place du Trône-Renversé presently Place de la Nation.
All those who had condemned Marie-Antoinette, the prosecutors Fouqiuer, Hébert followed her on the guillotine and showed much less courage than Marie-Antoinette.
The Musée Carnavalet has a painting of the execution of Louis XVI (photo 1) and one of the Queen (photo 2).
Before these dramatic years the Place de la Concorde had been Place Louis XV with an equestrian statue of this king sculpted by Bouchardon. The only part of this bronze statue which subsisted is the right hand now in the musée Carnavalet (photo 3). In that time there was no bridge linking this square with the left bank of the Seine like now.
I am probably in the minority, but I actually don't much care for Place de la Concorde. It is such a vast open space that you feel somewhat marooned as you stand at the foot of the obelisk in the middle of what is effectively one gigantic roundabout.
The obelisk is however a very special thing and is so enormous that it manages to hold its own despite the epic proportions of this vast square. It was originally erected by Rameses II in Luxor, but was part of a pair given to the French by Egypt in the 19th century. Just about every statistic associated with the obelisk is jawdropping: 3,200 years old, 23m high and 250 tonnes in weight.
The obelisk was installed on the spot where the guillotine used to stand during the Reign of Terror, over which period the square was aptly known as 'Place de la Revolution'. After things calmed down, the square was renamed 'Place de la Concorde' - the 'Square of Peace' - in a gesture of reconciliation.
The phallic imagery of any obelisk is unescapable and apparently on 1 December 1993, a group of AIDS activists exploited this by encasing the obelisk in a huge pink condom!
One day, walking randomly by La Place de la Concorde, suddenly a mirage appeared in front of our eyes, two resplendent red Ferraris and a yellow Lamborghini parked beside the sidewalk coming from Les Jardins des Tuileries side.
A crowd of people were swirling around these beautiful works of art on wheels murmuring his irrepressible admiration by the unexpected spectacle. After a few minutes we understood the situation, those cars were for rent, and if you take the chance then your adventure starts inexorably with a huge grim guardian seated beside you, of course.
The tariff? 89 euros for a twenty minutes ride, not too much time for the money, but enough to proudly tell to your friends at your town that you were driving an italian supercar roaring the avenues of Paris.
Not a minor fact, don't you?
Following on the unfortunate decapitation theme established by St Denis, literally thousands of people were guillotined in the aftermath of the French Revolution, the most famous of which were Louis XVI and his Queen, Marie Antoinette.
The guillotine was established in what is now known as Place de la Concorde, but which must have been anything but peaceful when packed with a baying, revolutionary crowd, eager to witness the despatch of their monarch. When you consider that kings of the era were believed to be 'divine right' monarchs - that is, quite literally, God's representative on earth - it must have taken quite a leap in faith and morality to condemn someone with such close connections to the Almighty to execution, and demonstrates the enormous social transition that took place over this turbulent period.
Louis was executed at a spot close to the classical statue representing the town of Brest (just in front of the Crillon Hotel): later the guillotine was moved to a spot in front of the Tuilleries where the obelisk now stands.
At 8 hectares (20 acres), the octagonal Place de la Concorde is the largest square in Paris. It is situated between the Tuileries and the Champs-Elysées.
In 1763, a large statue of king Louis XV was erected at the site to celebrate the recovery of the king after a serious illness. The square surrounding the statue was created later, in 1772, by the architect Jacques-Ange Gabriel. It was known as the place Louis XV.
The Concorde Square is the most beautiful place of Paris . With a surface of 84.000 square meters , the place offers a superb sight of the avenue of the Champs-Elysées in all its length and the Arch of Triumph, on a side, the Louvre and Gardens of Tuileries , on the other side.
Twin buildings with the fine colonnades were built on the side of the place, the Hotel of the Navy , sits of the State Major of the French Navy, and the Hotel of Crillon , one of the most luxurious and sought hotels.
It is in this place that was signed on February 6, 1778 the Treaty of Friendships and Exchanges between King , Louis XVI and the 13 States Independents of America . Benjamin Franklin counted among the signatories representing the United States...
Today at the place even where the King Louis XVI was guillotined , is an obelisk offered by the Egyptians.Where many people came to see falling down the heads formerly, come much there today to admire the view of the Champs-Elysées... :)
On Place de la Concorde you will discover what is the essence of the monumental architecture of the most beautiful city in the world.
Go there in the evening; the traffic has decreased so that you will arrive healthy at the foot of the up lighted Obelisk. She is not alone to stand out against the sky, somewhat further stands the Tour Eiffel, the Arch du Triomphe; closer to the South the National Assembly and to the North the Hotel Crillon and the church of the Madeleine.
In the shade of the Tuileries' gardens the outlines of Le Louvre are guessed.
What a marvel the incomparable perspectives of Paris!
Furthermore there is nothing as nice on a warm summer night as to refresh near the Fountain of the Seas or the Fountain of the Rivers with their monumental statues. They are very spectacular with coloured lights and the water running at a high rate of flow.
The Place de la Concorde was less romantic in 1793 when the guillotine stood here; she was called Place de la Révolution. More than 1100 persons were executed here among which King Louis XVI, Queen Marie-Antoinette and many persons of the royal family. Also leaders of the Revolution like Danton and Robespierre were beheaded here.
The Obelisk originally stood at the entrance to the Luxor temple. The obelisk arrived in France in 1833 and was placed in the center of the Place de la Concorde in 1836. This was a gift to King Charles X by the Viceroy of Egypt, Mehemet Ali.
The Obelisk is 23 meters (75 feet) high and weighs about 250 metric tons. Considering that it is quite a feat of engineering and planning just to get the obelisk to France in the first place.
Sometimes known as Cleopatra's Needle. What on earth was "this" doing here in the Place de la Concorde?
Well, it turns out if was a gift by Viceroy of Egypt to Louis Philippe. Paris could have received 3 obelisks as a gift, but decided one was enough, and here it is!
In the 19th century, it was taken from the temple of Ramses II at Thebes and was installed at the center of the Place de la Concorde. This 23 meters column, was already 3200 years old when it was received in the 19th century.
Worth having a look at up close as it's covered with hieroglyphs picturing the reign of pharaohs
The Place de la Concorde is the largest square in Paris. It separates the Tuilerie Gardens from the beginning of the Champs Elysees. I arrived here by walking through the Jardins des Tuileries. This is where Jardins des Tuileries ends. Big black and gold gates were open, but at night, these are closed. I found a Kiosk, souvenir stall, hawkers and a type of rickshaw ride, I prefered to walk.
I found the best place for a photo, was to walk up the top of the Terrace. It isn't that high, but high enough to get some better photos of the Fountain and the square. I could even see the Eiffel tower from here.
Once upon a time, this octagonal square was bordered by large moats, these have long gone.
A sad time in history, was In 1792, during the French revolution when the square was renamed the Place de la Revolution. A guillotine was installed at the center of the square and in just a few years, 1119 people were beheaded here, including King Louis XVI, Marie-Antionette.
No guillotine now, only quite a few tourists!
Once again, I was on the LesCarsrouge hop on/off Bus which didn't have a stop here, so I had to walk from the Louvre [stop3] to here.
The L'Open hop on/off Bus does has a stop, much better!
Do you like Fountains? I do, and I am in the right place to see them as Paris has over 200!
I was standing on the Terrace separting the Place de lar Concorde and Tuilerie Gardens, overlooking one of the many Fountains in Paris. I liked what I saw!
Green and gold dominated the fountain. It looked rich and elegant, pretty as water was spouting from the Fishes mouths and out the top. Later, I was to see it when it wasn't working, so perhaps there are designated working times?
The Fountains known as 'La fontaine des Mers,' and ''Elevation of the Maritime,' where designed by German born Jacques Ignace Hittorff. His design was influenced by the fountains of Rome, particularly Piazza Navona and the Piazza San Pietro, both of which had obelisks aligned with fountains.
The theme of both is of Rivers and Seas, both have a stone basin, both 6 Tritons holding Fish spouting water, 6 allegorical figures, 4 statues of different forms to do with the arts.
The North fountain represents the Rhone and Rhine rivers and the South Fountain, which is nearer to the River Seine, represents the Seas.
Not only did he design these stunning Fountains, but also the statues in the Place, each
representing a French city, namely Bordeaux, Brest, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Rouen and Strasbourg..
If you like Fountains, then you will like these!
This magnificent (but somewhat dusty in summer) square is the culminating point for the triumphal parades down the Champs-Elysées on 14th July. It was designed by architect Jacques-Ange Gabriel in the mid 18th century and was originally called Place Louis XV with a statue of said King Louis in the centre of the square.
During the revolution it was renamed as Place de la Révolution and the statue was replaced by a much more sinister presence, Madame la Guillotine who was put to her bloody work on this spot. The death toll in the square in just two and a half years was 1119 including many famous and noble severed heads such as King Louis XVI, Queen Marie-Antoinette, Danton and Robespierre.
Later the square was renamed Place de la Concorde in a gushing of reconciliatory spirit and the 3200 year old obelisk was placed in the centre of the square, making a much more elegant and welcoming spectacle than it's deadly predecessor.
The historic guillotine of the french revolution, in the centre of Concorde square, was replaced by an obelisk from Luxor, offered by the Egyptian viceroy.
With original carvings, it's suffering from pollution. The works of transfer and installation are represented in the base, with gilded images.
Originally the square was devoted to Lui the Fifteenth whose equestrian statue towered in the center of the square. This monument was destroyed during Revolution. At its place a guillotine was set up under which knife heads of Lui the Sixteenth have got, Maria Antoinette and Robespier.
The square accepted a final view in 1840 when the Egyptian obelisk from Luxor was set up in its center, presented to king of France by Egyptian pasha. It has 23 m in height and is decorated by hieroglyphs which mark famous acts of pharaon Ramzes the Second. Eight statues - symbols of the mainest cities of France - tower on corners of the square. On both sides from an obelisk the fountains are built on the sample of the Square of St Peter in Rome.
You can watch my 4 min 22 sec Video Along Paris by car part 2 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
You must see everything possible in the time you have to spend in Paris. Here we are at the Place de la Concorde. Behind us you can see Hotel Crillon, on our right is a direct line of site to the Arc de Triomphe, on our left is the Jardin Tuleries and in front of us is the River Seine. Imagine, everywhere I went there was something beautiful, famous or historical to see.
Hotel de Crillon is located at Place de la Concorde and has an interesting history from 1775 when the architect Louis Troud completed the project until 1909 when the Mansion was combined with adjacent buildings to create the largest and most luxurious Palace in Paris. The hotel was once owned by the Count of Crillon, who lent his name.
Prices for a room or suite of rooms begins at 490 Euros and moves upwards to 1250 Euros for a night's stay. Of course, this includes, buffet breakfast, a box of homemade chocolates, a bottle of champagne, flowers and daily newspapers.
I didn't include this in the Accommodation section because I believe that most people who could afford spending the night at Hotel de Crillon, wouldn't be looking on travel sites for a place to stay.
However, this is the perfect place for those of us who, sometimes have an opulent dream and would think it reasonable, to save up for and splurge on such a luxurious experience.
Can you see in the photo I'm thinking, "When I win the lottery I'll come here to stay and invite my friends for lunch in The Patio, Tea in the Winter Garden, dinner at Le Ambassardeurs Restaurant or cocktails in Bar le Crillon!" I am very generous in my dreams.
The best of my dream of Paris was that I was included in all I saw!