Still not fed up of Parisian squares? Good! Let’s discover together the story of the Place de la Concorde and its beautiful obelisk with a golden tip, symbols of the French capital.
The Place de la Concorde has been created between 1755 and 1775 at the instigation of king Louis XV. Built in a classic style by the king’s first architect, Jacques Ange Gabriel, this octagonal square was surrounded by prestigious hotels including the famous Hôtel de Crillon. Back in the days, it was called… Place Louis XV (how surprising!). A horse statue of Louis XV by Bouchardon and Pigalle was even inaugurated on the Place de la Concorde in 1763.
The Place Louis XV quickly becomes the theater of the biggest royal and popular events: weddings, royal births, fireworks let off for France’s victories abroad.
During the French Revolution, the Place Louis XV becomes the Place de la Révolution. Louis XV statue is taken down and replaced by the Liberty, symbol of this revolutionary period. It’s on this legendary square that in 1793 Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, Danton and Robespierre have been guillotined.
Under the July Monarchy, Louis Philippe I requests architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorf to redo all the architecture of the square he renames the Place de la Concorde so that the latter can no longer reminds of the dark political events that took place there. The architect works from 1839 to 1846 and sets two monumental fountains, the Fontaine des Mers and the Fontaine des Fleuves and especially the famous Obelisk of Luxor given by Mehemet Ali, Vice-King of Egypt to Charles X in 1831.
23-m tall, the obelisk overhangs the Place de la Concorde and marks the beginning of the world’s most beautiful avenue: the Champs-Elysées!
Place de la concorde
Place de la Concorde
75008 Paris 8