PLACE DE LA CONCORDE, Tour

Audio File length: 2.52
Author: STEFANO ZUFFI E DAVIDE TORTORELLA
English / USA Language: English / USA

As I mentioned, the obelisk in this square is from Egypt, but you should know that another obelisk which is identical to this one still stands in its original position in Egypt in front of the Luxor Temple, and for this reason the temple was nicknamed "The elephant with a single tusk".

The obelisk is the best spot for admiring the square, which is the largest in France after Place des Quinconces in Bordeaux.

Its rich decorations are the result of renovations that date back to the first half of the 19th century. The two scenic fountains you see on the sides represent sea and river navigation. Besides the beautiful lampposts, note the rostral columns decorated with sculptures that are similar to prows of ancient ships. Also, if you walk around the square you'll see eight statues that symbolize eight French cities.

But the best thing you can do in this square is use it as a strategic viewpoint for admiring the most beautiful monumental panoramas of central Paris! So turn your back to the Tuileries gardens and turn in a clockwise direction: first you'll see the majestic Champs-Elysées opening up, from a perspective that frames the Arc de Triumphe, and more recently the modern neighborhood Défense. To your right you'll see the start of Rue Royale, at the back of which you can see see the Neoclassical Church Madeleine. Rue Royale is framed between two palaces with twin façades: on the left is the luxurious Hotel de Crillon alongside the Embassy of the United States of America, and on the right you have the so-called Hotel de la Marine, which for over two centuries and until 2015 was the headquarters of the Naval Administration Offices, which have since moved to Hexagone Balard. Next to Hotel de la Marine you can see Hotel de Saint-Florentin, also known by the name of Minister Talleyrand, who bought it at the beginning of the 1800s and lived there until his death. From the opposite side of the square, beyond Pont de la Concorde and on the other side of the Seine, you can make out Palais Bourbon in the distance, which is the location of the National Assembly, and on its right the unmistakable Eiffel Tower.

 

FUN FACT: on December 1st, 1993, World AIDS Day, the obelisk was covered with a huge, neon pink, nylon and foam rubber condom that was more than twenty meters long.

And with this we have finished our tour of Place de la Concorde in Paris. MyWoWo thanks you for staying with us, and will see you at the next Wonder of the World!

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