Belfort lion (Lion de Belfort) in Paris


The Lion de Belfort is a famous French sculpture installed near the city of Belfort. But not everyone knows that there are three such lions in total in France. One is at the foot of the Belfort Fortress, the second is at the Place Denfert-Rochereau in Paris, and the third is in Dorchester Square in Montreal.

History of creation

The author of the attraction was the Italian sculptor Frederic Bartholdi, the author of the world-famous Statue of Liberty. The construction of the red sandstone monument lasted 7 years, as the sculptor wanted to make the lion as similar to the real one as possible. He watched wild lions for a long time and studied other similar sculptures, so the construction of the monument began only in 1875 and ended in 1879. The lion was assembled from separate blocks that were mined near the city, and therefore has an unusual spotted color.

A sculpture was erected in honor of the defenders of the Belfort fortress, which was attacked by the German army. The attack lasted for 103 days, but under the leadership of Pierre Denfert-Rochereau, the French held out. In honor of this event, a huge wounded lion was built, which, however, can again rush to the attack at any moment. By the way, the size of the sculpture is 22 m in length and 11 m in height. There were no problems with the name of the lion, he received it in honor of the fortress of the same name.

Initially, it was thought that the beast would look towards the enemy, but Germany opposed this, so the sculpture was turned to the west, but the sculptor left an arrow in the lion's paws that looks east, towards the Germans.

Belfort lion today

Today this landmark is under the protection of the French authorities. The lion is the symbol of the city of the same name. His image can be seen on a variety of objects: badges, emblems, etc.

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This huge monument attracts crowds of tourists with its majesty and inviolability, and in addition, it is popular with local residents.

Lion of Belfort in Paris

A small copy of the Lion of Belfort has been installed in Paris. It is made of copper, and its proportions are three times smaller than the original monument. This copy is located on the Place Danfer-Rochereau, in its very center.

How did the lion end up in Paris if it was not intended for it? The thing is that the giant Belfort lion was made in this French city, and then transported to the installation site near the city of Belfort. However, the Parisians really liked the monument, and a copy of the lion was also installed in Paris.

Getting there

Address: Place Denfert-Rochereau, Paris 75014.
Metro: Denfert-Rochereau.
RER train: Denfert-Rochereau.