Emblematic and hard to miss, this is the biggest square in Paris covering over 8 hectares.
Up next, 5 things you should know about the Place de la Concorde
1. It has gone through a few name changes
The Place de la Concorde is named after the reason for its creation: it sought to reconcile the French people after the horrors gone by during the Reign of Terror. This is the place where Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were guillotined during the French revolution along with over 1,100 others. It was originally named Place Louis XV (there used to be a statue of the monarch which was knocked down), then it was renamed Place de la Revolution, later it was changed to Place de la Carte (Constitution) until finally it became the Place de la Concorde.
2. Both of its fountains are highly renown
The Fountain of the Seas celebrates the arrival of water to the city of Paris. The fountain nearest to the Seine is the Fountain of the Seas, and the latter is the Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation. There is a lot of symbolism present in both, with representations of the different Oceans and seas, such as the Mediterranean, the different types of fishing styles, astronomy, commerce, and navigation. You’ll also find Triton, the Greek God of the Seas, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, a sea nymph or naiad, whom are also widely represented along these detail-filled works of art.
This is the place where Andy (Anne Hathaway) throws her phone into the fountain in the hit movie “The Devil Wears Prada”.
3. It contains 8 statues of women
The Place de la Concorde is under the watch of 8 statues of women that represent the main cities in France. You’ll find Marseille, Lyon, Strasbourg, Lille, Rouen, Brest, Nantes and Bordeaux. Each one is placed according to their location in relation to Paris. They share similar characteristics: a crown, an elaborate hairstyle, a draped dress, and they all are facing the center of the square and each holding a symbol representative of their respective cities in their hands.
4. A giant obelisk adorns the center of the Place
The Place de la Concorde holds in its center one of the obelisks that once decorated the entrance to the Luxor temple, in Egypt. This historical monument is over 3300 years old and was presented as a gift to France as a thank you to the first French man that translated hieroglyphics (Jean-François Champollion). It took over 2 years to get the obelisk from Egypt to France, as it weighs in at about 227 tons and is 75.5 feet tall. The Luxor obelisk is perfectly aligned with the Arch of La Defense and then Arc of Triumph in the Carrousel of the Louvre.
5. No buildings limit the surrounding area
The Place de la Concorde is shaped like an octagon and, contrary to what we are used to seeing, it only has one building lining it on one side. If you observe the area, there are three open areas surrounding it: the Tuileries gardens, the Champs Élysées and the river Seine.
There are a few buildings you can contemplate from the square, which are: the National Assembly (Palace de Bourbon) and La Madeleine. Each of these is located at an almost equal distance from the Place de la Concorde and hold a similar architectural style. The only building that is adjacent to the Place is the Hotel de la Marine, which is under renovation and should open back up to the public shortly.
There you go, 5 things you should know about the Place de la Concorde… but wait…
BONUS: It’s included in ALL our detailed travel guides
La Place de la Concorde is a must-see for tourists and is, of course, included in all our Detailed Travel Guides. If you dream of coming to Paris or are already planning your trip to the City of Lights, please visit our e-shop or send us a message! We also develop Custom-made Travel Guides that are adapted to all your needs, and which can include everything you don’t want to miss in the City of Lights.
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