Between the Champs Elysées and the Tuileries Gardens, there lies the Place de la Concorde. With traffic roaring and careening about seemingly in all directions, it is easy to feel lost on its 84,000 square meters.
It was designed by Gabriel begun in 1748 and completed in 1763. It was first called Place Louis XV, and planned as a worthy setting for the royal statue. Place de la Concorde is often associated with the bloody events that took place on its pavement. In 1770, for example, 133 spectators were trampled to death at a huge fireworks display on the occasion of Marie-Antoinette's wedding to the Dauphin. A few
decades later, the revolutionaries, who were intent on eliminating all royalist monuments trom the face of the earth, removed Louis XlV's statue, dubbed the plaza Place de la Révolution, and set up their guillotine on it. Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and 1119 other people lost their lives here, among them Charlotte Corday (the murderess of Marat), Danton, Philippe Égalité and Robespierre. In order to help these bloody events on their way to oblivion, the Directory renamed the square Place de la Concorde in 1795. And, officially, the 1830 Revolution renamed it Place de la Concorde.
The first time I visited Paris I walked along many of the famous places in about 12 hours. This is one of my first pictures I took of the Place de la Concorde during that long walk.
This square was designed in the 18th century to surround the statue of Louis XV. In the same century in 1792 the square got the name Place de la Revolution and a guillotine was set up at the square. Louis XVI and more than 1000s other people are executed here. In 1795 the square got its present name Place de la Concorde in the hope that it could become a place of peace and harmony.
Besides its horrible history I was especially interested in the 23M high obelisk with hieroglyphs in the middle of the square. This pink granite obelisk of 3300 years old was a present from Egypt to France in 1831. Originally it stood in the Temple of Ramses in Luxor, the temple I should visit first 10 years later.
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.
In the center of the Place de la Concorde is the 3,300 years old Obelisk of Luxor, a pink granite monolith 73 ft high and weighing 220 tons. This is one of the pair of obelisks that were erected in front of Luxor Temple and decorated with hieroglyphics exalting the reign of the pharaoh Ramses II. In the 19th century it was transported to Paris, while the other monolith remained at the original cite in Luxor. On June 8th, 1831, a French naval engineer secured permission from the Egyptian viceroy to make off with the western obelisk. Then, on October 25th, 1836, it was erected at the center of Place de la Concorde in Paris, in the presence of French King Louis Philippe,
Recently Dr. Zahi Hawass, the Egyptian Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities has asked for its return to Luxor Egypt.
The Place de la Concorde is a very large square in the middle of Paris. It was here that Revolutionary France beheaded their King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette (who on being told that the peasants were starving and had no bread to eat, is famously said to have replied "Let them eat cake") with the Guillotine. As is the way with many revolutions, two of the most important revolutionaries were also killed here at the hands of Madame Guillotine. In those days this square was called Place de la Revolution.
The picture shows the 3200 year old Egyptian obelisk against the Eiffel Tower and one of the several statues in the square.
The place de la Concorde is located between the Champs Elysees and the Jardin des Tuileries. The square of about eight hectare has besides the Egyptian obelisk also two fountains and eight statues, representing the French cities.
Standing with your back to the Seine you see two manor houses, the Hotel de la Marine and Hotel de Crillon. From here you can also look into the Rue Royale and see the Eglise de la Madeleine, which looks like a Greek temple.
Place de la Concorde is located between the Champs Elysées and the Tuileries Gardens. During the French Revolution of 1789 there was a guillotine installed here and this was the place where Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI (among others) were executed. Where the guillotine was erected, there's an obelisk today - a gift from Egypt to the people of France. The obelisk, one of the Cleopatra's needles, is 23 meters tall and has inscriptions on how it was shipped to France.
Covering more than 20 acres in the middle of Paris, Place de la Concorde is one of Europe's most magificent and historic squares. Originally known as Place Louis XV, it was built in the 18th century in the shape of an open octagon with only the north side containing mansions.
During the French Revolution, the sqauare came to be known as Place de la Revolution, and the statue of Louis XV was replaced by a guillotine. Marie-Antoinete and 1,118 other people were executed here.
The square finally took the name Concorde in the spirit of reconciliation, and in the 19th century the 3,200 year old obelisk from Luxor was placed in it. Two fountains and eight statues also adorn the square, making it one of the most celebrated public areas in France, if not all of Europe.
Ironically Paris's largest square was not always a harmonious place as its current name suggest. During the French Revolution it was here that the condemned were guillotined.
In order to lose that notoriety the square was renamed Place de La Concorde in place of Place Louis XV. It's now the site of the 3,300 year old Egyptian Obelisk presented in 1833 to King Louis Philippe by the Viceroy of Egypt.
The location is ideal as you can get a great view down the Champs Elysees from this square.
The "Place de la Concorde" is a magnificent square between the Champs Elysées and the Tuileries garden. In the middle of the square, the obelisk, 3200 years old, comes from the ruins of the temple at Luxor. It is 23 meters tall. Enjoy in beautiful fountains.
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.
The Place de la Concorde, the largest place in Paris, is situated along the Seine and separates the Tuilerie Gardens from the beginning of the Champs Elysées. It is often chocked with traffic and is at its most scenic at night when the fountains are illuminated.
It was here during the Reign of Terror when King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette were guillotined in January and October 1793, respectively. Their bodies were buried in a cemetery nearby with their heads between their legs as a sign of hatred and disrespect by the revolutionaries led by Robespierre, who would share Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette's fate at the guillotine. 2800 people were executed here 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.
The place today maintains the general appearance that it had in the eighteenth century except the statue of Louis XV, removed during the Revolution, was replaced by the Obelisk of Luxor. Two magnificent vistas open up: one towards the Champs-Elysées and Le Louvre beyond the beautiful gates of the Jardin des Tuileries, the other towards the Madeleine at the end of the rue Royale and the Assemblée Nationale across the pont de la Concorde
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!
As we were leaving Café Marly during my son's & my stopover in Paris last year on our way to Dublin, Ian mentioned how cool it would be to see the obelisk so he could tell his friend, Chris, about it. I told him it was just at the end of the gardens! The one from Egypt, he queried? The very same. So we meandered over to the Place de la Concorde.
In photos #2 & 3, the pictorial tells the story of how Napoleon's men brought the obelisk from Egypt to Paris, France.
All the pics of the Obelisk are Ian's handiwork.
Once known as the Place de la Revolution, the Place de la Concorde with its beautiful fountain & obelisque is now known for the gory events that took place during the Reign of Terror of the Revolution. Thousands of folks died here at the chopping block, in the area where the obelisque now stands. Royalty (Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI), nobility & the famous (Robespierre & Danton who were responsible for the Reign of Terror) all lost their heads here.
Robespierre, who was in cahoots with Danton, eventually had a falling out over politics with Danton and accused him of treason. Thankfully, many people grew tired of so many deaths and in turn called for the death of Robespierre who was almost one of the last to die here.
Ian was blown away by the fact that he could stand in one spot and see several monuments: Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Obelisque at Place de la Concorde, and the Grand Palais!
Photos: April 2003 & Feb 2006
The largest place in Paris, Place de la Concorde, separates the Tuillerie Gardens from the beginning of the Champs Elysées. Completed in 1763, the place took the name Place Louis XV and was constructed to hold an equestrian statue of Louis XV.
During the Revoltion, took the name Place de la Révolution and held in the center the guillotine that executed Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Danton and Robespierre.
After the Revolution the name was changed again: Place de la Concorde, Place Louis XV again, Place Louis XVI, Place de la Chartre, and once again Place de la Concorde.
In order to complete the design of the place, beside the obelisk from Luxor in the centre also two fountains were added.