Monument to Marshal Joseph Joffre in Paris


The equestrian monument to the hero of the First World War, Marshal Joseph Joffre (Le monument équestre au maréchal Joseph Joffre) is installed in front of the Champ de Mars opposite the building of the main building of the Military School.

Under the command of J.J.C. Geoffre, French troops won a brilliant victory in the strategically important battle on the Marne River in September 1914. For this battle, the commander was awarded several foreign military awards, including the Russian Order of St. George. He was very popular with junior officers and common soldiers, who expressed their affection for the commander by addressing Pope Joffre.

Location dispute

The question of perpetuating the memory of the popular Marshal Joseph Joffre (1852-1931) was first discussed in 1936. During the discussion about the site of the monument, the decision was made very difficult, since many options for its placement were proposed.

According to one of them, proposed by the chairman of a specially created committee, it was supposed to install it in the Port Mayo square. At this place in 1919, the Marshal was enthusiastically greeted by the Parisians, who had gathered to celebrate the anniversary of the victory in the First World War.

The Architectural Department of the City Hall of Paris, the Technical and Aesthetic Committee, and the co-author of the monument, the architect J. Laffili, also joined in the search for a suitable site for the monument. Among the options considered were the Champs de Mars garden and the Avenue de Breteuil in the area of ​​the House of Invalids. After lengthy discussions lasting about 3 years, the municipal council agreed to erect a monument on the square named after the marshal near the Champ de Mars.

The development of the project concept was entrusted to A. Roudier. The architect J. Laffili worked on the creation of the pedestal for the monument, and the models and the final version of the statue were created in the studio of the sculptor M.R. del Sartre. The opening of the monument on the Place J. Joffre took place in June 1936.

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Description of the artistic composition

The bronze statue of the commander is installed on a high four-sided pedestal. Marshal J. Joffre is depicted by the sculptor sitting astride a horse in a long cloak and with his hand extended forward in the direction of the Eiffel Tower. On the left side of the monument, the horseman has a ceremonial marshal sword.

The horse under the rider is presented in a dynamic stance with one front leg raised. On the sides of the bronze platform on which the horse steps, one can also read the names of the sculptor M. R. del Sartre and the author of the project, A. Rudier.

On each side of the pedestal, inscriptions are carved in stone. On its two sides are quotes from the speeches of Marshal J. Joffre before compatriots on September 6 and 14, 2014.

The name of the marshal and the dates of his life are engraved on the front panel of the pedestal. On the opposite side of the monument, the main places of battles in which the commander participated in the First World War are listed: Marne, Champagne, Verdun, Flanders and Somme.

In the overall composition of the monument on the Champ de Mars, the artistic and aesthetic influence of the monument to the sculptor O. Malraux, which was also co-authored by the architect J. Laffili, established in 1931 in the homeland of the Marshal in the town of Rivesaltes in the Eastern Pyrenees, is noticeable.

Getting there

Address: Place Joffre, Paris 75007
Metro: École militaire