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.
The obelisk, the two fountains of the centre of the Place de la Concorde, are an amazing place in Paris. Here you will be able to discover what is the essence of the monumental architecture of the most beautiful city in the world. I saw Rome, Athens, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Madrid and many other cities but I seldom saw such a harmony, architectural greatness than Place de la Concorde, Paris.
Go there in the evening; the traffic has decreased. By the crossings for pedestrians protected by red lights 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!
L'obélisque, les deux fontaines du centre de la Place de la Concorde, sont un endroit absolument fantastique à Paris, en France, en Europe. C'est ici que vous pourrez découvrir ce qu'est dans son essence l'architecture monumentale de ce qui est la plus belle ville au monde. J'ai vu Rome, Athènes, Venise, Vienne, Prague, Madrid et bien d'autres villes mais j'ai rarement vu une telle harmonie, grandeur architecturale que celle de Paris, Place de la Concorde.
Venez le soir, la circulation a diminué, par les passages pour piétons protégés par les feux rouges vous arriverez sains et sauf au pied le l'obélisque illuminée. Elle n'est pas seule à se découper dans le ciel, au loin se dressent la Tour Effel, l'Arc de triomphe, et plus près l'Assemblée nationale, l'église de la Madeleine et l'Hôtel le Crillon. Dans l'ombre du jardin des Tuileries se devinent les contours du Louvre.
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 our leisurely walk on the Rue de Rivoli, and my stomach happy after that delicious cup of hot chocolate at Angelina's, we are ready to explore more of Paris. And the Place the la Concorde is where we are heading to. Traffic is swirling around the square and the sun is smiling down on us. This is one of Paris' largest squares and a busy one as well. But the traffic couldn't hide the beauty of this place for me, even if it tried its best at doing so.
This octagon shaped square is dominated by a huge obelisk and I loved walking around here and taking it all in. Don't forget to go up to the Jardin the Tuileries before you cross the street towards the middle of the square though! From this point of view you have some really nice photo opportunities.... if you get here at the right time of the day that is. I arrived late afternoon, not the best of time of day. But when you go early during the day, you probably have the sun in your back, and you are able to get some lovely photos of the Place to Concorde, with the Eiffel tower in the background (see photo 1).
The statue in the foreground of the first photo is one of the 8 statues surrounding the square, created by Jacob Ignaz Hittorf. They are all placed in a corner of the octagon and represent the French cities of Lille, Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nantes, Brest and Rouen. In the second photo you can see the statue representing Nantes.
Besides the obelisk, you can also see two beautiful fountains in the middle of the square. The square dates back to 1755 and was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel and has had a rather turbulent past. The square wasn't called Place de la Concorde as we know it nowadays, but Place Louis XV, after the king. During the French Revolution (1789–1799) the square was renamed again and it is now known as the "Place de la Révolution". And that name might ring a bell to many of you, as that is the square were many famous people like King Louis XVI, Marie-Antionette and Robespierre were beheaded. After the revolution the square was renamed several times and in 1830 it finally got its current name 'Place de la Concorde'.
In 1836 Jacob Ignaz Hittorf redesigned the Place de la Concorde. And he is the one that added and designed these bronze fountains that I like so much to the square. One is called 'La fontaine des Mers' and the other one 'Elevation of the Maritime'. It's so much fun to watch these fountains, especially when they are working. And that felt like something of a lottery, because one moment the water was flowing gladly over the statues, into the water basin, and the next it was all quiet again. So be quick with your camera if you see the fountains working! The show might be over again before you know it.
At the place de la Concorde, on the left corner of the rue Royale leading to La Madeleine, stands one of the prestige hotels of Paris.
It was a palace commissioned by King Louis XV in 1758 (architect Louis-François Trouard) and was acquired by the Count of Crillon one year before the revolution of 1789. It is said that Queen Marie-Antoinette came here for piano lessons. She could not imagine that she would pass under the guillotine in front of this palace.
The Palais de Crillon was confiscated by the revolution but the family Crillon got it back and sold it in 1907 to the Société du Louvre controlled by the family Taittinger who sold their interests in the group to Starwood.
I regret I can not give any comments about the present Hotel de Crillon.
The Presidential suite (90 sqm, a minimum for me) at 3820 €/night was not free during my last stay in Paris. Ordinary rooms cost between 550 and 700 €/night, ordinary suites between 1400 and 2200 €/night.
On the other corner is a similar palace by the same architect. This building belongs to the French Marine and houses the Etat-Major.
This huge square, one of the greatest and best known in the world, has had a chequered history. The land was donated from the royal estates by Louis XV as a site to place a statue of him dressed as a Roman emperor and seated on horseback! After a design contest the square, which was begun in 1757 and completed in 1772, was called Place de Louis XV: ominously, from the start the king’s statue had placards attaced to it, condemning his shortcomings and indifference to the poor. Two major palaces were built at the southern side, one now housing the Hôtel Crillon and the other the Ministry for the Navy.
Following the Revolution, the square became the Place de la Revolution, with the guillotine replacing the statue. In the 1830s, the Obelisk of Luxor was imported from Egypt: a reasonably ‘neutral’ central focus which in recent years has been given the gold pyramid which now surmounts it.
The Place de la Concorde could well be considered the ‘heart’ of Paris, sitting at the intersection of two major axes – from the Louvre through the Tuileries Gardens and Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe, the other from the Madeleine across the Seine to the Assemblée Nationale. It is used for major parades and, at any time, is thronged with tourists and traffic.
Main photo: From the fountain to the Assemblée Nationale
Second phot: From the same fountain to the Madeleine
Third photo: general view of the Place de la Concorde: people and traffic.
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.
Ever wonder what an Obelisk is doing in Paris ? Isnt it supposed to be in Egypt ?
Well it actually comes from Luxor. Mehemet Ali, vice king of Egypt, gave it to France in 1829. It marked initially the entrance of the Amon temple, palace of Ramses III. Its twin is still in place in Luxor.
Whats written there ?
Nevermind . But when you walk closer you will notice that the whole column is bathed in hieroglyphs. Hieroglyphs was the writing of the Ancient Egypt and the word "hieroglyph" means "sacred writing".
This monolith has been cut in a single block of pink granite, it is 23 m high and 1.70 m large at its base. Its weight is 230 t. The stone comes from the quarry of Syene. The surface of the needle is burnished, and 3 columns of hieroglyph are engraved on each face. They relate the reigns of Ramses II and III. It was carried out around 1550 B.C.
The transport from Luxor to Paris requires a journey of more than 2 years. That I believe is a pure showcase of man's determination or perhaps a King's gesture of friendship ? The task is quite huge that a special boat had to be built to allow it to sail on the Nile, on the Mediterranean Sea, around the French Atlantic coast, and on the Seine River with such a heavy load.
After the obelisk landed in France , it was gloriously erected at the Concorde Square on 22 October 1836 and the day marks the begining of a new icon in Paris, though foreign but blends with the Parisian mood beautifully.
Will you see a Concorde here ?
Besides being the chopping place during the French Revolution , this place offers a great view of Paris, some nice shots and a little sprinkle from the huge fountain. But remember dont stand too long near the fountan , coz you might be blocking someone's photography session - of course that happened to me , sigh. Move your butt my friend ...
Why not get lost in the middle of the square , amidst the buzzing cars and surrounded my monuments of the past ...all in one ..one in all...
the history if you are interested
The Place de la Concorde, which is the largest place in Paris, is situated along the Seine and separates the Tuilerie Gardens from the beginning of the Champs Elysées. It is in the 8th arrondissement, or district, of the city.
Jacques Ange Gabriel, Louis XV's architect, began construction in 1754 and completed it in 1763. It was thus called the Place Louis XV. The place was constructed to hold an equestrian statue of Louis XV that the city of Paris commissioned in 1748 from Bouchardon to offer to the king. The place formed an octagon bordered by large moats that no longer exist. In contrast to older places that were closed, la Place de la Concorde, largely open, served as an intersection as well as a decoration. The equestrian statue marks the intersection of two principal axis: the East-West axis from the perspective of the Tuilerie Gardens and the Champs Elysées, the North-South axis from the perspective of la rue Royale and the bridge created in alignment. With respect to urban accomplishments, it is the greatest achievement of the Enlightenment in the capital.
It became the Place de la Révolution and held in its center the guillotine that executed in particular Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Danton, Robespierre, and 2800 others between 1793 and 1795. It is said that the smell of blood was so strong that a herd of cattle refused to cross the place.
Parisians have long diced with death at the Place de la Concorde. Over a hundred were trampled here at a fireworks display to celebrate the marriage of the future Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette and it wasn't all that many years later that the king and the queen (along more than a thousand others) were to meet their fate on the guillotine that was set up here during the bloody years of the Revolution. These days it's drivers, seemingly treating the place as a racetrack, and tourists, keen to examine the central obelisk more closely, who uphold the tradition.
This is the biggest square in Paris, surrounded by grand buildings and eight statues depicting the major cities of France, with lovely fountains and two handsome colonnades. Right in the centre - the hub around which all the cars swirl and race - is a magnificent pink granite Egyptian obelisk. 3300 years old, 23 metres high and weighing over 200 tonnes, it replaces both the statue of the king whose reign the square was built to glorify and the dreaded guillotine -symbol of all the excesses of the Reign of Terror. Placed here in 1832 (after a journey from Egypt that took three years and considerable engineering skill) the obelisk was seen as a splendidly non-political monument after the turbulence of the past.
Place de la Concorde is the city's biggest square and it is known to be one of the most beautiful squares in the world. Located between the Jardin des Tuileries and the Champs-Elysees avenue, it was inaugurated in 1763. It was then known as "Place Louis XV" and a statue of the said king sat at the center of the square. During the French Revolution, however, a guillotine was installed in its place and it became a place for public executions. King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette were among the 1,119 persons beheaded at the Place Louis XV, which was soon to be named Place de la Concorde.
The obelisk that now stands in the middle of the place was a gift from Egypt and it was added to Place de la Concorde in 1836 as part of a remodeling project that was meant to make people forget about the bloody past of the square. The "Luxor" obelisk is over 22 m tall, weighs about 227 tons and is over 3,300 years old. It is covered with hieroglyphics that praise the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II. The fountains, street lights as well as the buildings that surround Place de la Concorde create a very harmonious architectural ensemble that makes for really great pictures!
Many of us rush around the fringes of Place de la Concorde underneath on the metro, on top on the bus, or skirt the edges on foot. It takes some doing to get yourself into the Place itself [3 crosswalks the way I went], but once there it is a surprisingly quiet oasis as Paris bustles around you.
Its current name hides its history as Place de la Revolution during the period of French history when heads rolled here ... Now you see the famous obelisk, given as a gift to Louis Phillipe as well as the fantastic fountains representing Neptune and his realm.
It was originally built under Louis XV, and had a statue of him at the center, which was replaced after the Revolution by the obelisk from Luxor. Among those who lost their heads here between 1793-95 were Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Danton, & Robespierre.
The base of the obelisk shows how is was constructed.
Place De La Concorde is the largest square of the city. Here the guilotine was set for the execution of Louis XVI, Maria Antoinette and almost 3000 other people in period 1793-1795. In our days you will hardly smell the blood around although with so many cars around there a car accident is always possible… :)
The famous monument in the square is the big Ovelisque which actually a copy of the real one in Egypt (town of Theve, now known as Luxor).
There are also 8 statues that symbol the main cities of France(Bordeaux, Brest, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Rouen, Strasbourg) at the corners of the square. What more you can do here? You can see the statue of Louis XV (erected in 1763 after a serious illness that didn’t kill him) and of course the Ferris Wheel, a lot of tourists like it but my opinion is that it doesn’t fits with the area between the Louvre and the Obelisque. It’s 60m high was supposed to stay there for a year after the millennium celebrations but in January 2011 was still there…
Place de la Concorde is near of Tuileries Garden that is nice for a small walk until the entrance of the Louvre
The place de la Concorde is the largest place in Paris along Seine river and separates the Tuilere Gardens from the beginning of the Champs Elysees. It was center the guillotine that executed in particular Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and 2800 others in French revolution. The statue of Louse XV replaced by the Obelisk of Luxor given by the viceroy of Egypt, Mohamed Ali, to Louis Phillipe. The obelisk is at the center and there are two fountains from the same period. At each corner of the octagon is found a statue that represents one of the large French cities: Lille, Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nantes, Brest and Rouen.