Place de la Concorde

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  • The General Mobilization Order

    In one of the streets starting from the square, to the left of a renowned restaurant, is a piece of paper under a dusty glass cover : it is the General Mobilization Order of August 2, 1914. Or at least, a copy of it, it seems.
  • The solar time

    The obelisk is used as "gnomon", as in Saint-Sulpice church, since 1999. That is, as a giant solar quadrant. Try to find, on the square's ground, the roman numerals thus marking the solar time.

The place

The biggest square of Paris was named that way during the Directoire (1795-1799). It was chosen to mark the reconciliation of the French people after the troubled period of the Terror.

Its first name, back in 1772, was Louis XV square, and a statue of this king of France was standing there at the time. Then, during the French Revolution, it was called the Place de la Révolution, then, as we saw, the Place de la Concorde. It then reverted to its initial name during the Restoration. After a few more changes, it settled on Place de la Concorde again under the Monarchy of July (1830-1848).

The guillotine was used here as of 1792. King Louis XVI, Queen Marie-Antoinette, and Robespierre (among others) were executed at the then Place de la Révolution.

In 1831, Mehmet Ali of Egypt gave the two obelisks from the entrance of the Louxor Temple in Thebes to France as a gift. One of the obelisks was brought to the country and, since then, stands on the Place de la Concorde.

The two huge fountains are the works of architect Jacques Ignace Hittorff : the southern one is called the Fountain of the Seas, the northern one the Fountain of the Rivers.

North of the Place de la Concorde are also, notably, the Hôtel de Crillon and the Hôtel de la Marine (to the right).

A large ferris wheel is installed near the entrance of the Tuileries Garden each year's end, generally from November to January.

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