Monday, July 10, 2023



                            ( Place de la Concorde )    

                      ( Champs-Élysées )

                      ( Guillotine Painting )

          ( A view of Obelisk from Tuileries Garden)

   ( The Wheel at Place de la Concorde)

                ( Pont de la Concorde )

Place de la Concorde,Paris ( A historic square in the heart of Paris )

We visited Place de la Concorde  on the day of our visit to the Tuileries Garden . In fact one gate of the Tuileries Garden opens towards Place de  la Concorde. And The Tuileries Garden is located between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde.

Place de la Concorde is a beautiful  square on the banks of the Seine river, in between the Champs-Elysées and the Tuileries Gardens. Its length is 359 meters and its width 212 meters. It is part of the  walk from the Louvre Museum to Arc de Triomphe, one of the most popular walks in the City of Lights. Access to Place de la Concorde is free.

Sprawled out over 20 acres, its beautiful fountains, sculptures and ancient Egyptian Obelisk attract visitors from around the world.One can reach this place using many modes of public transport including buses and  taxis .One can also travel by Metro lines 1, 8 and 12  and get down at the Concorde Metro station . Created between 1755 and 1775 , Place de la Concorde was originally known for having been an execution site during the French Revolution. Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette (among others) were guillotined here. Between 1836 and 1846 the architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorf redesigned the square to become what it is today.

The Champs-Élysées is 1.2 miles (1.9 km) long and is the most beautiful and well-known avenue in Paris. It connects Arc de Triomphe with the Place de la Concorde and is considered one of the world’s most famous commercial streets. Élysee' is derived from the Ancient Greek word “Elysium”, meaning a place or state or perfect happiness.Champs is a French word meaning  a piece of land that has practical utility . Like a field for growing crops or keeping animals or doing some other activity.


 In the middle of the Place de la Concorde, stands the 3200 years old Obelisk coming from the Egyptian temple of Luxor where it was marking the main entrance.The Obelisk is decorated with hieroglyphics exalting the reign of the pharaoh Ramesses II. It is one of two the Egyptian government gave to the French in the 19th century. The other one stayed in Egypt, too difficult and heavy to move to France with the technology at that time. The self-declared Khedive of Egypt, Muhammad Ali Pasha, offered the 3300 year old Luxor Obelisk to France in 1829. It arrived in Paris on 21 December 1833. Three years later, on 25 October 1836, King Louis Philippe had it placed in the center of Place de la Concorde. The Obelisk, a yellow granite column, rises 23 metres high, including the base, and weighs over 250 tons. Given the technical limitations of the day, transporting it was no easy feat. On the pedestal of this Obelisk are drawn diagrams explaining the machinery that was used for the transportation. The  original cap of this Obelisk is  believed  to have been stolen in the 6th century BC. Accordingly, the French government added a gold-leafed pyramid cap to it in 1998.Two beautiful fountains flank the Luxor Obelisk to its north and south. Inspired by the fountains of Rome,  both the fountains adhere to an aquatic theme. The fountain closest to the Seine represents the maritime spirit of France. The two largest figures relate to the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. On the other side of the Obelisk, the north fountain represents the rivers of France. Here the two largest figures characterise the Rhone and the  Rhine rivers.

In 1793, during the 13-month Reign of Terror, the square was renamed the Place de la Revolution. A whopping 1119 persons  including Louis XVI, whose father had built Concorde, faced the guillotine's sharp blade. Other notable victims were Marie Antoinette, Madame du Barry, Robespierre,
Charlotte Corday, and French Revolutionary leader Georges Danton.  In 1795, the name of the place was changed to Place de la Concorde, meaning harmony or peace.Of the 2,498 persons executed by the guillotine in Paris during the Revolution, 1,119 were executed on the Place de la Concorde, 73 on Place de la Bastille and 1,306 on Place de la Nation.During the Revolution, the guillotine was continuously moved around Paris. It was first used on the Place de Grève and then the Place du Carrousel (near the Tuileries). It was then moved to the Place de la Révolution (currently the Place de la Concorde) from May 11, 1793 to June 9, 1794. It was then removed from the center of the city to the Place de la Bastille and then the Place du Trône-Renversé (currently Nation).Dr. Joseph-Ignaceus Guillotin, who devised  the Guillotine ,  forced lawmakers to pass a law requiring using this fast  tool for beheading . Until then,  people had to face “painful” deaths  for their crimes  . They were  defaced , hanged, lashed,  stoned, beaten  or crucified .

Circling the Place de la Concorde are groups of statues and figures that form an octagon. At each corner of the octagon one can see eight stone monuments representing eight  French cities namely,  Bordeaux, Brest, Lille, Lyon  Marseilles, Nantes, Rouen and Strasbourg.

The latest addition to the Place de la Concorde is the Big Wheel, a 65-meter observation wheel that offers spectacular views over the City of Light. The attraction was first installed in 2000. It features 42 pods and rotates slowly to give visitors enough time to soak in the beautiful scenery beneath them. The wheel is set up in perfect alignment with the Arc de Triomphe on the other end of the Champs-Elysées.

Apart from the notorious Guillotine, Place de la Concorde has been in new quite often. In

On May 30, 1770  the firework display to celebrate the marriage of the future Louis XVI and the Austrian princess Marie Antoinette went wrong. 132 people died and were buried in the nearby Madeleine cemetery.

In the 1830 July Revolution there were several exchanges of fire in the square between the insurrectionaries and troops still loyal to Charles X. When Charles fled and the constitutional monarchists who had seized power passed the crown on to Louis Philippe, the Duke of Orleans, the square’s name went back to Place de la Concorde.

The square saw  bloodshed on February 6 1934. Some 20 were killed and 2,300 wounded as far-right demonstrations attempted to seize the National Assembly. The left’s reaction to this evidence of the growing strength of French  right wing politics  was to hold counter-demonstrations and to build Left Unity between the divided trade unionists and between Communists and Socialists.

In 1968 the square saw a massive demonstration by the right in support of De Gaulle on May 30. This effectively turned the political tide against the left.

The right used the Place de la Concorde again, on May 7 1995 and on May 6 2007 to celebrate the presidential election victories of first Chirac and then Sarkozy.

( Avtar Mota )

Creative Commons License
CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.