Place de la Concorde in Paris

sights

In the capital of France, not far from the Tuileries Garden and the famous Champs Elysees, there is Place de la Concorde, built in the 17th century, and to this day admires the French and guests of the country with its grandeur and beauty. The current name - Concorde Square - is a symbol of the end of troubled times and the beginning of movement towards a more peaceful and beautiful future.

History of occurrence

Initially, the square was conceived as royal and had the name of the square of Louis XV. The personal architect of the king, Jacques-Anne Gabriel, worked on the development of her project. In the center, according to tradition, was the equestrian statue of Louis. The monarch was very fond of the merchants and the elders of Paris for the fact that he directed the economic development of the country towards improvement, therefore the monument to him became a gift from the main persons of the city.

Gabriel proposed to create a square in the form of an octagon, its main feature was that no buildings were erected along the entire perimeter, so an excellent view of the capital opened in all directions. It seemed that standing in the center of the royal square, you can see all of Paris. The opening of the main square took place in 1763.

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The French Revolution has changed a lot both in the hearts of the country's inhabitants and in the architectural features of the capital. Since 1789, Louis Square became known as the Revolution Square. The monument to the monarch was demolished from the pedestal and brutally destroyed, and the Statue of Liberty was erected in its place. Another symbol of the turbulent and cruel times of the revolution was the terrifying-looking guillotine. Many top officials of the state were executed on it, including King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Robespierre, Danton and others, more than a thousand victims in total.

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The square got its current name in 1795, the instrument of death - the guillotine - was removed from it, on this place the artist David proposed to install the statue of "Horses of Marly", which previously adorned the palace of Louis XIV in the suburbs of Paris. The name "Place de la Concorde" began to indicate that the citizens of France have come to reconciliation and are ready for the revival of the country.

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Since the 1830s, during the reign of Louis-Philippe, the Place de la Concorde began to undergo some changes. Firstly, an obelisk made of pink granite called Luxor was received as a gift from the King of Egypt, Muhammad Ali. They took him from Egypt for about two years on a special cargo ship. The obelisk is 23 meters high and weighs 230 tons. It depicts the oldest hieroglyphs (their age is 3600 years).

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Secondly, next to the obelisk, on opposite sides, two fountains were installed, each 9 meters high. Their author is the architect Gittorf, and other buildings on the square, which have become landmarks of the square and the entire capital of France, are also merits. Fountain of the Seas and Fountain of Rivers were decorated with statues of mythological characters and columns.

Thirdly, in 1836, marble statues were erected in all eight corners of the square, reminiscent of antique style in their style. They symbolized the eight most important cities in France, located in different directions from the Place de la Concorde. In the northwest, these are the statues of Brest and Rouen, on the Tuileries embankment - Lyon and Marseille, the northeast direction was decorated with the statues of Lille and Strasbourg, and in the southwest there are Nantes and Bordeaux.

Attractions of the Place de la Concorde

Luxor Obelisk

The real decoration of Place de la Concorde in Paris is Luxor Obelisk. This magnificent pillar is 23 meters high and is carved from pink granite. Its top is crowned with a golden tip, and hieroglyphs are applied along the perimeter, telling about the glorious days of the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II in Ancient Egypt. According to historical data, these hieroglyphs are more than 3,5 thousand years old.

The obelisk of Luxor was presented to France by the Viceroy of Egypt Mehmet Ali for deciphering the hieroglyphs inscribed on it by one scientist from this country. This huge pillar was brought from the temple of the god Amun in Thebes on a ship built for this purpose, which had the name "Luxor". And, by order of King Louis-Philippe I, it was installed on the Place de la Concorde in October 1836. For this, complex lifting mechanisms were used, which made it possible to erect the obelisk on a granite pedestal specially made for it.

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Luxor Obelisk

It should be noted that the gold tip appeared on the top of the obelisk much later - in 1999. For its manufacture, about 1,5 kg of pure gold was used. The obelisk with a golden tip looks especially beautiful at night, in the light of lanterns and beams of searchlights.

There are similar obelisks in London and New York, they are also called "Cleopatra's Needles". But they are carved from red granite and 2 meters lower than Luxor.

Fountains of the Place de la Concorde

The fountains on the Place de la Concorde were designed by the famous French architect Jacques-Ignatius Gittorf on behalf of the royal family. After the installation of the Luxor obelisk, it was necessary to transform the square and give it a finished look. And now, 4 years later, on May 1, 1840, magnificent monumental fountains appeared on both sides of the obelisk, which are small copies of Roman fountains from St. Peter's Square. One of them was called the Fountain of the Four Rivers, and the second - the Fountain of the Seas. These names and their architectural design are not accidental - the Ministry of the Navy of France is located on the Place de la Concorde.

fountains of the Place de la Concorde2

The height of the fountains of the Place de la Concorde is small, only 9 meters, but they look majestic and luxurious. They are decorated with magnificent statues of mythical sea and river heroes and gilded columns located along the perimeter. The bowls of the fountains have an unusual shape; a powerful cascade of water rushes down from them with spray spreading by the wind.

Separate words are deserved by the remarkably executed illumination, which, in the dark, skillfully illuminates the streams flowing from the fountains, making this spectacle stunning.

fountains of the Place de la Concorde

These fountains fit perfectly into the overall architecture of the Concorde Square, the so-called Concorde Square, and wonderfully refresh the air on a sultry day.

Concord Square Statues

Place de la Concorde boasts an obelisk with an unusual history, majestic fountains and artfully crafted statues that breathe centuries of history.

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8 cities - sculptural group on the Place de la Concorde

Each corner of the Place de la Concorde is decorated with peculiar sculptures installed under King Louis Philippe, which are symbols of 8 major French cities:

  • Strasbourg;
  • Marseille;
  • Lyon;
  • Nantes;
  • Bordeaux;
  • Brest;
  • Rouen;
  • Lille.

The statue of Strasbourg, for which Juliette Druet, the wife of Victor Hugo, once posed for, during the entire period of the German occupation of the French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine was covered with a black veil and was considered a place of pilgrimage for French patriots.

Strasbourg statue at the Place de la Concorde

These monuments are not works of art, but they amaze with their huge size, as well as the fact that in each of their pedestals in the 19th century there was a small apartment rented out as housing. Today, there is a large underground parking lot underneath them.

Koni Marley

In addition to the statues of 8 cities, there are two more remarkable sculptural groups on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, called "Marly Horses" or "Horse Tamers". The originals of these statues, which have adorned the square since 1795, are now in the Louvre, and skillfully made copies flaunt in their place.

horses gauze

This was done in order to preserve them for history - from the large amount of exhaust gases, the coating of the sculptures began to lose their appearance.

In the evenings, the square is decorated with bright illumination lights from fountains and buildings. Only two buildings are located in the northern part of the square. This is the Crillon Hotel, a symbol of luxury and wealth. Not far from it - the building of the Ministry of the Navy of the country. Both buildings are palaces reminiscent of the Louvre in appearance.

On the south side of the square is the Pont de la Concorde, built in the 18th century, leading across the Seine to the home of the French Assembly - the Palais Bourbon. From the Place de la Concorde, you can see the famous Arc de Triomphe, Tuileries Garden, Madeleine Church.

Getting there

Address: Place de la Concorde, Paris 75008.
Metro: Concorde.

Source
INFO-MANIAC