The largest square in Paris, Place de La Concorde is famous for the 3300 year old Egyptian Luxor obelisk that stands in the middle. Over 1200 people, including King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette, were guillotined there during the 1789 French revolution. Today, a Ferris Wheel, called la Grande Roue, stands on the square and provides great views of the city.
Place de la Concorde is a beautiful 8 hectare 18th century square on the banks of the Seine river in Paris, in between the Champs Elysees and the Tuileries Gardens. Its length is 359 meters and its width 212 meters. It is part of the great triomphal way 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. Discover Place de la Concorde, one of the top places to visit in Paris.
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 are drawn diagrams explaining the machinery that was used for the transportation. Missing its original cap, believed stolen in the 6th century BC, the government of France added a gold-leafed pyramid cap in 1998.
A great way to see the City of Lights from an elevated point other than the Tour Eiffel is la Grande Roue, a magical ferris wheel on Place de La Concorde. La Grande Roue, 70 meter high high, is located between the Tuileries Gardens and Concorde Square. 300 000 people yearly visit la Grande Roue, a great attraction for adults and kids alike.
Open everyday from 10.30am to 12pm
November 11th to May 17th
Entrance fee: 12 euros. Children: 6 euros.
Place de la Concorde, initially named Place Louis XV, was designed by Architect Jacques-Ange Gabriel in 1763 to celebrate the glory of almighty King Louis XV of France.
The Place Louis XV showcased a splendid equestrian statue of King Louis XV. At the north end, Jacques-Ange Gabriel added two magnificent identical stone buildings. One of them is occupied today by the famous Hotel Crillon.
During the 1789 French Revolution the statue of Louis XV was torn down and the area renamed Place de la Revolution. The revolutionary government erected the guillotine in the square. It was here that King Louis XVI, the grandson of almighty King Louis XV, was guillotined on 21 January 1793. Other important figures guillotined on the site were Queen Marie Antoinette, Princess Elisabeth of France, Charlotte Corday, Madame du Barry, Georges Danton, Camille Desmoulins, Antoine Lavoisier, Maximilien Robespierre, Louis de Saint-Just and Olympe de Gouges.