Place de la Concorde is one of the famous public squares in Paris and the largest square in France. Located at the eastern corner of Champs Champs-Élysées in the eighth arrondissement of Paris, Place de la Concorde has witnessed royal exhibitions in the past especially during the French Revolution.
Place de la Concorde was designed in 1755 by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1755 and was completed in 1772. Earlier, it was named as Louis XV in honour of the then king. There was also an equestrian statue of the king commissioned in 1748 at the Place de la Concorde.
Striking features of Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde is a square boasting of some famous architecture at and surrounding it. Its separation by rue Royale makes him one of the best examples of the Louis Quinze style architecture.
From the west to the east and north to the south, Place de la Concorde has famous attractions listed below.
West and East edges
While the west end has the famous Champs-Élysées, the east end is bordered by Musée de l'Orangerie and the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume present in the famous Tuileries Gardens.
To the north side of Place de le Concorde, there are two identical stone buildings, which are set apart by the Rue Royale. While the western building is Hôtel de Crillon, the eastern one is the building of the French Naval Ministry. The Rue Royale further leads to the Église de la Madeleine. Another important building, located at the intersection of Rue Boissy d'Anglas and Avenue Gabriel is the United States Embassy. Lastly, the western edge of the Rue de Rivoli forms the north-eastern corner of Place de la Concorde.
The south side of Place de la Concorde include the Palais Bourbon, which houses the French National Assembly and is located on the opposite side of the Seine River. Pont de la Concorde, a bridge constructed over the river by Jean-Rodolphe Perronnet (1930-32) is used to cross the Seine and forms an important part of the South side of the Place de le Concorde.
At the Eight angles
Place de la Concorde is an octagonal square having eight angles, each of which bears a statue, representing a French city. The idea was an initiative of architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorff, who created two of the eight statues namely Rouen and Brest. The other six statues with their sculptures are Marseilleand Lyon by Pierre Petitot, Nantes and Bordeaux by Louis-Denis Caillouette & Strasbourg and Lille by James Pradier respectively.
Standing at the centre of the Place de la Concorde is a 23 metres (75 feet) tall Luxor Obelisk that was originally boasting of the reign of pharaoh Ramesses II. Classified as a historical monument in 1936, it is one of two obelisks given by the Egyptian government to France. The second was returned back to the Egyptians in 1990 by President François Mitterrand.
Place de la Concorde boasts off two famous fountains, which are symbol of fountains in Paris. They were designed by Jacques Ignace Hittorff. Their alignment is influenced by the Roman fountains.
The structures of both fountains are same. Each fountain has a stone basin, surrounded by six figures of titrons that are holding fish spouting water. Besides, there are six seated allegorical figures that are supporting the pedestal, of the circular Vasquez. The upper Vasquez is supported by four distinct statues that shoot water upwards and then cascade it first to the lower Vasquez and then to the basin.
While the north fountain is dedicated to the rivers, the south is devoted to the seas with allegorical figures representing Rhone and Rhine on the former and Mediterranean and Atlantic on the latter.