Place de la Concorde

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Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde from the Eiffel Tower, Paris April 2011.jpg
The Place de la Concorde as seen from the Eiffel Tower
Paris department land cover location map.svg
Reddot.svg
Shown within Paris
Length359 m (1,178 ft)
Width212 m (696 ft)
Arrondissement 8th
Quarter La Madeleine
Coordinates 48°51′56″N2°19′16″E / 48.86556°N 2.32111°E / 48.86556; 2.32111 Coordinates: 48°51′56″N2°19′16″E / 48.86556°N 2.32111°E / 48.86556; 2.32111
Construction
Completion1772
Denomination1830

The Place de la Concorde (French pronunciation:  [plas də la kɔ̃kɔʁd] ) is one of the major public squares in Paris, France Measuring 7.6 hectares (19 acres) in area, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is located in the city's eighth arrondissement, at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées. It was the site of many notable public executions during the French Revolution.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

8th arrondissement of Paris French municipal arrondissement in Île-de-France, France

The 8th arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements of the capital city of France. In spoken French, this arrondissement is colloquially referred to as huitième.

Contents

History

The place was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1755 as a moat-skirted octagon between the Champs-Elysées to the west and the Tuileries Garden to the east. Decorated with statues and fountains, the area was named the Place Louis XV to honor the king at that time. The square showcased an equestrian statue of the king, which had been commissioned in 1748 by the city of Paris, sculpted mostly by Edmé Bouchardon, and completed by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle after the death of Bouchardon.

Ange-Jacques Gabriel French architect

Ange-Jacques Gabriel was the principal architect of King Louis XV of France. His major works included the Place de la Concorde, the École Militaire, and the Petit Trianon and opera theater at the Palace of Versailles. His style was a careful balance between French Baroque architecture and French neoclassicism.

Octagon shape with eight sides

In geometry, an octagon is an eight-sided polygon or 8-gon.

Tuileries Garden public garden in Paris, France

The Tuileries Garden is a public garden located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France. Created by Catherine de' Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564, it was eventually opened to the public in 1667 and became a public park after the French Revolution. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was a place where Parisians celebrated, met, strolled and relaxed.

At the north end, two magnificent identical stone buildings were constructed. Separated by the rue Royale, these structures remain among the best examples of Louis Quinze style architecture. Initially, the eastern building served as the French Naval Ministry. Shortly after its construction, the western building became the opulent home of the Duc d'Aumont. It was later purchased by the Comte de Crillon, whose family resided there until 1907. The famous luxury Hôtel de Crillon, which currently occupies the building, took its name from its previous owners.

Rue Royale, Paris street in Paris, France

The rue Royale is a short street in Paris, France running between the place de la Concorde and the place de la Madeleine. The rue Royale is in the city's 8th arrondissement.

<i>Louis Quinze</i>

The Louis XV style or Louis Quinze is a style of architecture and decorative arts which appeared during the reign of Louis XV of France. From 1710 until about 1730, the period known as the Regency, it was largely an extension of the "Style Louis XIV" of his great-grandfather and predecessor, Louis XIV of France. From about 1730 until about 1750, it became more original, decorative and exuberant, in what was known as the rocaille style, under the influence of the King's mistress, Madame de Pompadour. It marked the beginning of the European Rococo movement. From 1750 until the King's death in 1774, it became more sober, ordered, and began to show the influences of neoclassicism.

Hôtel de Crillon hôtel particulier

The Hôtel de Crillon is a historic luxury hotel in Paris which opened in 1909 in a building dating to 1758. Located at the foot of the Champs-Élysées, the Crillon along with the Hôtel de la Marine is one of two identical stone palaces on the Place de la Concorde. It has been listed since 1900 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

French Revolution

During the French Revolution in 1789 the statue of Louis XV of France was torn down and the area renamed the Place de la Révolution. The new revolutionary government erected a guillotine in the square, and it was here that King Louis XVI was executed on 21 January 1793.

French Revolution social and political revolution in France and its colonies occurring from 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

Louis XV of France Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre 1715–1774

Louis XV, known as Louis the Beloved, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reached maturity on 15 February 1723, the kingdom was ruled by Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, as Regent of France. Cardinal Fleury was his chief minister from 1726 until the Cardinal's death in 1743, at which time the young king took sole control of the kingdom.

Guillotine Apparatus designed for carrying out executions by beheading

A guillotine is an apparatus designed for efficiently carrying out executions by beheading. The device consists of a tall, upright frame in which a weighted and angled blade is raised to the top and suspended. The condemned person is secured with stocks at the bottom of the frame, positioning the neck directly below the blade. The blade is then released, to quickly fall and forcefully decapitate the victim with a single, clean pass so that the head falls into a basket below.

Other important figures guillotined on the site, often in front of cheering crowds, were Queen Marie Antoinette, Princess Élisabeth of France, Charlotte Corday, Madame du Barry, Georges Danton, Camille Desmoulins, Antoine Lavoisier, Maximilien Robespierre, Louis de Saint-Just, and Olympe de Gouges.

Marie Antoinette Last Queen of France prior to the French Revolution

Marie Antoinette was the last Queen of France before the French Revolution. She was born an Archduchess of Austria and was the penultimate child and youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. She became Dauphine of France in May 1770 at age 14 upon her marriage to Louis-Auguste, heir apparent to the French throne. On 10 May 1774, her husband ascended the throne as Louis XVI and she assumed the title Queen of France and Navarre, which she held until September 1791, when she became Queen of the French as the French Revolution proceeded, a title that she held until 21 September 1792.

Charlotte Corday figure of the French Revolution

Marie-Anne Charlotte de Corday d'Armont, known as Charlotte Corday, was a figure of the French Revolution. In 1793, she was executed by guillotine for the assassination of Jacobin leader Jean-Paul Marat, who was in part responsible for the more radical course the Revolution had taken through his role as a politician and journalist. Marat had played a substantial role in the political purge of the Girondins, with whom Corday sympathized. His murder was depicted in the painting The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David, which shows Marat's dead body after Corday had stabbed him in his medicinal bath. In 1847, writer Alphonse de Lamartine gave Corday the posthumous nickname l'ange de l'assassinat.

Madame du Barry mistress of Louis XV

Jeanne Bécu, Comtesse du Barry was the last Maîtresse-en-titre of Louis XV of France and one of the victims of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.

The old plaque, for "Place Louis XVI", and replacement plaque at the corner of Hotel de Crillon Place Louis XVI plaque.jpg
The old plaque, for "Place Louis XVI", and replacement plaque at the corner of Hôtel de Crillon
The Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation, one of the two Fontaines de la Concorde (1840) on the Place de la Concorde. Behind: the Hotel de Crillon; to the left: the embassy of the United States. Place de la Concorde fountain dsc00774.jpg
The Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation, one of the two Fontaines de la Concorde (1840) on the Place de la Concorde. Behind: the Hôtel de Crillon; to the left: the embassy of the United States.
Execution of Louis XVI in the then Place de la Revolution. The empty pedestal in front of him had supported a statue of his grandfather, Louis XV, torn down during one of the many revolutionary riots. Execution of Louis XVI.jpg
Execution of Louis XVI in the then Place de la Révolution. The empty pedestal in front of him had supported a statue of his grandfather, Louis XV, torn down during one of the many revolutionary riots.

In 1795, under the Directory, the square was renamed Place de la Concorde as a gesture of reconciliation after the turmoil of the French Revolution. After the Bourbon Restoration of 1814, the name was changed back to Place Louis XV, and in 1826 the square was renamed Place Louis XVI. After the July Revolution of 1830 the name was returned to Place de la Concorde and has remained that way since.

French Directory Executive power of the French Constitution of 1795-1799

The Directory or Directorate was a five-member committee that governed France from 2 November 1795, when it replaced the Committee of Public Safety, until 9 November 1799, when it was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Coup of 18 Brumaire, and replaced by the French Consulate. It gave its name to the final four years of the French Revolution.

Bourbon Restoration Period of French history, 1814-1830

The Bourbon Restoration was the period of French history following the first fall of Napoleon in 1814, and his final defeat in the Hundred Days in 1815, until the July Revolution of 1830. The brothers of the executed Louis XVI came to power, and reigned in highly conservative fashion; exiled supporters of the monarchy returned to France. They were nonetheless unable to reverse most of the changes made by the French Revolution and Napoleon. At the Congress of Vienna they were treated respectfully, but had to give up nearly all the territorial gains made since 1789.

July Revolution July 1830 revolution in France

The French Revolution of 1830, also known as the July Revolution, Second French Revolution or Trois Glorieuses in French, led to the overthrow of King Charles X, the French Bourbon monarch, and the ascent of his cousin Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans, who himself, after 18 precarious years on the throne, would be overthrown in 1848. It marked the shift from one constitutional monarchy, under the restored House of Bourbon, to another, the July Monarchy; the transition of power from the House of Bourbon to its cadet branch, the House of Orléans; and the replacement of the principle of hereditary right by popular sovereignty. Supporters of the Bourbon would be called Legitimists, and supporters of Louis Philippe Orléanists.

Features

Place de la Concorde as seen from la Terrasse des Tuileries ca 1900 Paris - Place de la Concorde vue de la Terrasse des Tuileries.jpg
Place de la Concorde as seen from la Terrasse des Tuileries ca 1900

Obelisk

The Obelisk of Luxor stands on top of a pedestal that recounts the special machinery and manoeuvres that were used to transport it. Paris ObeliskConcordre (pixinn.net).jpg
The Obelisk of Luxor stands on top of a pedestal that recounts the special machinery and manoeuvres that were used to transport it.

The centre of the Place is occupied by a giant Egyptian obelisk 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. In the 1990s, President François Mitterrand gave the second obelisk back to the Egyptians.

The obelisk once marked the entrance to the Luxor Temple. The self-declared Khedive of Egypt, Muhammad Ali Pasha, offered the 3,300-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 (75 ft) high, including the base, and weighs over 250 tonne s (280 short ton s). 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. The obelisk is flanked on both sides by fountains constructed at the time of its erection on the Place.

Missing its original cap, believed stolen in the 6th century BC, the government of France added a gold-leafed pyramid cap to the top of the obelisk in 1998.

The fountains

Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation (1840) with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Fontaine de la place de la Concorde Paris 04 07 97 8x6.jpg
Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation (1840) with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

The two fountains in the Place de la Concorde have been the most famous of the fountains built during the time of Louis-Philippe, and came to symbolize the fountains in Paris. They were designed by Jacques Ignace Hittorff, a student of the Neoclassical designer Charles Percier at the École des Beaux-Arts. The German-born Hittorff had served as the official Architect of Festivals and Ceremonies for the deposed King, and had spent two years studying the architecture and fountains of Italy.

Hittorff's two fountains were on the theme of rivers and seas, in part because of their proximity to the Ministry of Navy, and to the Seine. Their arrangement, on a north-south axis aligned with the Obelisk of Luxor and the Rue Royale, and the form of the fountains themselves, were influenced by the fountains of Rome, particularly Piazza Navona and the Piazza San Pietro, both of which had obelisks aligned with fountains.

Both fountains had the same form: a stone basin; six figures of tritons or naiads holding fish spouting water; six seated allegorical figures, their feet on the prows of ships, supporting the pedestal, of the circular vasque; four statues of different forms of genius in arts or crafts supporting the upper inverted upper vasque; whose water shot up and then cascaded down to the lower vasque and then the basin.

The north fountain was devoted to the Rivers, with allegorical figures representing the Rhone and the Rhine, the arts of the harvesting of flowers and fruits, harvesting and grape growing; and the geniuses of river navigation, industry, and agriculture.

The south fountain, closer to the Seine, represented the seas, with figures representing the Atlantic and the Mediterranean; harvesting coral; harvesting fish; collecting shellfish; collecting pearls; and the geniuses of astronomy, navigation and commerce. [3]

In the 1961 experimental documentary Chronique d'un été , Marceline Loridan-Ivens walks through the Place de la Concorde while reflecting on memories of her father and her time in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

In the Star Trek novels, the Place de la Concorde is the location of the offices of the President and the Council of the United Federation of Planets.

In The Devil Wears Prada , Andrea Sachs throws her phone into one of the Fontaines de la Concorde.

Angel, the seventh book in the Maximum Ride novel series, includes the Place de la Concorde as a rally area to a crime organization known as the Doomsday Group.

In the video game Tom Clancy's EndWar , the Place de la Concorde is across the bridge from the spawn point and is a major firefight zone. The zone is also showcased in the trailer, Russians use the square for cover and the Luxor Obelisk is heavily damaged. Later in the trailer a transport aircraft crashes in the center of the square. In the end a missile lands in the background and destroys the square.

In Matthew Reilly's first novel in the Jack West Jr series, Seven Ancient Wonders , the Place de la Concorde is the resting place of a piece of the capstone to the Great Pyramid at Giza.

In the novel Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Rosemary and Dick pass through the Place de la Concorde several times during their secret liaison.

In music, Jean Michel Jarre performed the concert place de la concorde, held on July 14, 1979, celebrating the Bastille Day. One million spectators attended this concert.

In the music video of "Tendrement" by Koffi Olomide on his album Affaire D'etat he is seen walking round Fontaines de la Concorde.

The Luxor Obelisk is mentioned in the song "Il est cinq heures, Paris s'éveille" by Jacques Dutronc.

Interaction with contemporary art

During six months (October 2015 - May 2016), the interactive sculpture entitled PHARES, [4] by the French artist and engineer Milène Guermont, [5] [6] [7] was installed in Place de la Concorde next to the Obelisk. Any passer-by could transmit her or his heartbeat directly into PHARES thanks to a cardiac sensor and this artwork sparkled and illuminated the Obelisk at her or his heart rhythm. This federative, sustainable and monumental artwork of 30 meters high was also in dialogue with the Eiffel Tower and the Montparnasse Tower.

See also

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Cleopatras Needle set of Egyptian obelisks known as Cleopatras Needle at some point in time

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Edmé Bouchardon French artist

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Hôtel de la Marine

The hôtel de la Marine is a historic building on place de la Concorde in Paris, to the east of rue Royale. It was built between 1757 and 1774 on what was then known as place Louis XV, with a façade by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, First Architect to the King and designer of the square. The identical building to its west now houses the hôtel de Crillon.

Luxor Obelisk Egyptian obelisk in Paris

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Fontaines de la Concorde fountains in Paris, France


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Achille Valois French painter

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Milène Guermont

Milène Guermont is an artist.

Phares is a monumental interactive sculpture by Milène Guermont.

References

  1. "Carrie LeFlore Perry". Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  2. "The last week, the road to war". Archived from the original on 23 March 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  3. Beatrice Lamoitier, L'essor des fontaines monumentales, in Paris et ses fontaines, pg. 173.
  4. Aude Lavigne, "Milène Guermont, artist", FRANCE CULTURE, 2016
  5. Vincent Fournout, "Milene Guermont and the hand that caresses concrete", TOUTE LA CULTURE, 2018
  6. Julie Cateau, " Milène Guermont, the artist-engineer who wants to make you love concrete", OUEST FRANCE, 2018
  7. Frédéric Pommier, "La semaine culturelle du 31 octobre", FRANCE INTER, 2016