Paris is the home of not only the most romantic things but also the most attractive structure of the world. Among them, The Place de la Concorde square is an enjoyable destination that visitors should not overlook when travelling the city.
Measuring more than 20 acres in area, Place de la Concorde is the largest public square in the capital of France. It lies between the Tuileries and the Champs-Elysées.
In the year 1763, a large equestrian statue of King Louis XV was showcased at this site to celebrate the king’s recovery after an illness. Afterwards, the square was built in 1772 by the architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel, having a moat-skirted octagon and was called the Place Louis XV to honor the king at that time.
In 1792, the statue was replaced by another called ‘Liberté’ (freedom) and the square was renamed The Place de la Révolution during the French Revolution. At the center of the area, a guillotine was put under the new revolutionary government’s decision. In just few years, they beheaded up to 1119 people here, even important characters such as King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. Then, the square was changed some times until the current name ‘The Place de la Concorde’ in 1830.
In the 19th century, the 3200-year-old monument from the temple of Ramses II at Thebes was put in the center of the square. It is a monolith in pink granite with the height of 23 meters (75 ft) and the weight of about 230 tons. It was offered to Louis Philippe by the Viceroy of Egypt in 1831. Actually, there were three monuments offered but just one was transported to the French capital. People sometimes call the monument as ‘L’aiguille de Cléopâtre’ or ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’.
In 1836, Jacob Ignaz Hittorf, who redesigned the square from 1833 to 1846, installed a statue at each corner of the octagonal square, representing a city of France like Brest, Bordeaux, Lille, Marseille, Lyon, Strasbourg, Nantes and Rouen. Besides, he designed two bronze fountains – ‘La fontaine des Mers’ and ‘Elevation of the Maritime’ – and added them to the square in 1836 and 1839 respectively.
Standing at the Place de la Concorde square, you can see the Tuileries to the east, the Arc de Triomphe to the west, Madeleine to the north and – in the opposite side of the Seine – the Palais Bourbon, now Assemblee Nationale to the south.