The Place de la Concorde is one of the major public squares in Paris, France. Measuring 8.64 hectares 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. Originally called ‘Place Louis XV’, the square was renamed in 1792 as the Place de la Révolution and contained a guillotine on which over 1,100 people were beheaded in the space of just over two of years, these included King Louis XVI, Marie-Antionette, Madame du Barry and Maximilien Robespierre. After being renamed several times it became Place de la Concorde in 1830 which is a reference to peace and harmony.
The center of the Place is occupied by a giant Egyptian obelisk, 23 metres tall, decorated with hieroglyphics exalting the reign of the pharaoh Ramesses II. The obelisk had once marked the entrance to the Luxor Temple. On arrival in Paris the obelisk was missing its original cap, it is believed to have been stolen, the French government had a new golden cap made in 1998. 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 Hittorff. The north fountain was devoted to the Rivers and the north fountain was devoted to the Rivers (Fontaine des Mers and Fontaine des Fleuves). In each corner of the octagonal square there is a statue representing a French city, these are Bordeaux, Brest, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Rouen and Strasbourg.
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