Concorde Square

Place de la Concorde

A famous square close to many important Parisian sights. The Luxor Obelisk stands in the middle – can you read the hieroglyphs?

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Concorde Square in Paris, France

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A public square which is always bustling with people, the Place de la Concorde belongs to the top sights in Paris With an area of more than 21ac (8.6 ha), this octagonal plaza is the largest in Paris. It was designed in the midst of the 18th century by Ange-Jacques Gabriel. Its aim was to link the Champs-Elysées—one of the most famous streets in the world—and the Tuileries Gardens. The original name of this square was Place Louis XV as a tribute to the French king. However, during the French Revolution, his statue was destroyed and the square was renamed to Place de la Révolution. When the Jacobins took over in France and their ‚Reign of Terror‘ began, the square was used for executions by guillotine. There were more than 1,100 victims. The name of the square was then changed several more times until in the 1830s it was finally named Place de la Concorde.

There are several sights in the area which are worth visiting. You can go to the Musée de l'Orangerie to delight in the works of world-renowned impressionist painters (such as Monet, Renoir and other artists), or to the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, to soak up some contemporary art. You can also take a walk along the banks of the River Seine, which runs along the south side. A dominant feature of Place de la Concorde is the 75 ft- (23 m-) tall (and several-thousand-year-old) obelisk made from red granite. It is called the Luxor Obelisk, due to its previous location—before being offered as a gift to France—being at the entrance to the Luxor Temple in Egypt. But it first belonged to Rames II and bears hieroglyphics exalting his reign.

In the eight corners of the octagonal space, stand eight sculptures; each representing a city in France, including Bordeaux, Marseille, and Strasbourg. Two fountains created by Jacques-Ignaz Hittorf also grace the square; the ‚Fountain of the Rivers‘ and the ‘Elevation of the Maritime'. Don't forget to toss a coin into one of the fountains for luck!

From Place de la Concorde, you can see the Arc de Triomphe, the Tuileries Gardens, and the Palais Bourbon, the seat of the French National Assembly. Various gatherings and events take place in the Place de la Concorde, including Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations.

As with any main tourist attraction, you’ll want to keep your belongings close to you and to look out for pickpockets. It is easy to get to the square. The closest Métro stop is Concorde; others are Tuileries, Assemblée Nationale and Champs-Elysées – Clemenceau. RER trains stop at Invalides and Musée d'Orsay. When you are at the Place de la Concorde, take a stroll through the Tuileries Gardens or down the Champs Elysées and marvel at the magnificent buildings, luxurious shops, and restaurants with tasty food!

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Concorde Square Pictures

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