The Place de la Concorde is the largest square in the center of Paris. It was created in 1755, but its architectural ensemble was formed only by the middle of the 19th century. The Place de la Concorde is recognized as a masterpiece of the architectural style of classicism.
Today, the Place de la Concorde is located in the heart of Paris, but in the middle of the 18th century, this place was outside the city. It is located on the banks of the River Seine. On the east side, it is adjacent to the Tuileries Garden, and on the west, the famous Champs-Elysees begin. The octagonal square was designed by architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel. He was one of the founders of the architectural style of classicism in France.
In the 18th century, the square was named after King Louis XV, and in its center was a monument to the king. In 1798, the French Revolution began, and the square was renamed the Place de la Revolution. The slogans of freedom and brotherhood were quickly replaced by revolutionary terror. In the square, a huge guillotine was erected on the site of the monument to Louis XV. King Louis XVI, Queen Marie Antoinette, and more than a thousand others were executed here. Later, the ideologists of the revolution, Robespierre and Marat, were executed by the same guillotine.
After the restoration of the monarchy in 1830, the square was renamed the Place de la Concorde. The center of the architectural composition of the Place de la Concorde in 1836 became the Luxor obelisk, presented to France by the ruler of Egypt, Muhammad Ali, in 1833. In those years, Egypt was a close ally of France. As a sign of gratitude for assistance in the country`s reforms, Muhammad Ali presented an obelisk made of pink granite, which stood in front of the entrance pylons of the Luxor Temple for more than 3.5 thousand years. Its height reaches 23 meters, and its weight is 230 tons.
In 1840, near the Luxor Obelisk, the architect Jacques Gittorff built two large fountains with a height of 9 meters: The Fountain of the Seas and the Fountain of the Rivers. They are similar to the fountains located in St. Peter`s Square in Rome. The fountains are decorated with mythological characters and columns. At the corners of the square there are marble statues in the antique style on large pedestals, which symbolize the French cities. So the Place de la Concorde acquired its current appearance, and became one of the main attractions of Paris.