Place de la Concorde: A Guide (History, What To See & More)

Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde is a large square with a central location that is situated near many of the most famous sights in the city.

The square played an important role in history, and lots of important historical events took place at the square. The square is home to beautiful and interesting fountains, there’s an obelisk, historic buildings surround the square, and you can see the Eiffel Tower from Place de la Concorde.

With this guide to Place de la Concorde, you can learn about everything you might want to know about the square and what you can find on the square. Besides that, at the end of this guide, I listed some nearby places that are worth going to as well.

Guide to Place de la Concorde

History and General Information

View of vehicles at Place de la Concorde
Vehicles at Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde is one of the most important squares in the city of Paris. The square has a size of about 19 acres and can be found in the 8th arrondissement.

It is located next to Jardin des Tuileries and it is situated on one end of the Champs-Élysées.

View of Place de la Concorde in Paris
View of Place de la Concorde

The square was constructed at the end of the 18th century, it was completed in 1772. In 1763, a statue of King Louis XV was placed at the square, which was criticized by the public.

To the north of Place la Concorde, there are two symmetrical buildings. One of these buildings is the Hôtel de la Marine, which was used by the Ministry of the French Navy until the year 2015.

Nowadays, the building displays a collection of art from the Al Thani Collection.

Cars and motorcycle at Place de la Concorde
Cars at Place de la Concorde

Lots of important events in history took place at the square, especially during the French Revolution when the square was known as Place de la Révolution.

For example, a group of people seized weapons from the Hôtel de la Marine, which were used during the storming of the Bastille.

The statue of King Louis XV was taken down and melted down.

Several executions of important people took place at the square. For example, in the year 1793, King Louis XVI was executed at Place de la Concorde as well as Queen Marie Antoinette.

During the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, more than 1,000 people were executed at Place de la Concorde.

Later on, several monuments were added to the square, and some other design changes were made. For example, Rue de Rivoli, one of the most famous streets in Paris was constructed in 1806, which runs along the Louvre and the Tuileries Garden to Place de la Concorde.


View of a fountain at Place de la Concorde
Fountain at Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde boasts two beautiful fountains, one to the north of the center and one to the south of the center of the square.

These fountains were completed in 1840 and were designed by the architect Hittorff.

The fountains are monumental fountains. The southern fountain is dedicated to the maritime commerce and industry of the country, and the northern contain is dedicated to navigating and trading on the rivers of France.

Before these fountains were completed, there were already plans for other fountains that featured King Louis XV, but at that time there wasn’t yet enough water available to create the fountains.

The fountains feature several sculptures that were made by several famous sculptures. These sculptures are made of cast iron and have bronze and gold paint on them. Some of the smaller sculptures of the fountain are made of bronze.

The different sculptures are symbols. For example, the two largest sculptures of the southern fountain are symbols for the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The larger sculptures of the northern fountain are symbols for the Rhône River and the Rhine River.

Some smaller sculptures of the fountain represent related topics, such as fish.

Luxor Obelisk

Luxor Obelisk from below
Luxor Obelisk

Another of the most significant elements of Place de la Concorde is the Luxor Obelisk. This is a large obelisk in the center of Place de la Concorde that has a height of 23 meters (or 75 feet).

You might think this is a monument that was constructed in France and that is a few hundred years old, but that’s not true.

The Luxor Obelisk at Place de la Concorde is actually one of a pair of obelisks from ancient Egypt. The Luxor Obelisk that you can see at the square is more than 3,000 years old.

The other obelisk of the pair can be found at the Luxor Temple in Egypt.

The obelisk was carved from red granite in the Egyptian city of Aswan. On the obelisk in Paris, you can see hieroglyphics.

The Luxor obelisk was moved to Paris in 1830 and was a gift by Muhammad Ali Pasha, who was the ruler of Egypt at that time. France also gave a gift: a mechanical clock that is known as the Cairo Citadel Clock.

Both obelisks were a gift, but the second obelisk was never moved to France.

Places Near Place de la Concorde

When you visit the square, you can also visit a place that is near the square. There are many interesting places to go, and I outlined a few below.

Jardin des Tuileries

Green chairs at Jardin des Tuileries
Chairs at Jardin des Tuileries

To the east of Place de la Concorde, you can find the Tuileries Garden.

This is a public garden that is perfect if you want to have a relaxing time in the city. The garden is located between Place de la Concorde and the Louvre Museum.

The garden was created in 1564 as the garden of the Tuileries Palace, which is a former royal palace that doesn’t exist anymore. The palace was destroyed in 1871.

Since the year 1667, Tuileries Garden is a public garden.

You can go to the garden for a relaxing stroll or you can sit down on one of the green chairs that you can find throughout the garden.

It is also possible to have food and drinks at the park, as there are various restaurants. You can find these in many places in the garden. Close to the Arc de Triomphe de Carrousel, you can also find a sandwich cart, and there is an ice cream shop located in the garden.

Besides that, there are two large round fountains.

Musée de l’Orangerie

Road in front of Musée de l'Orangerie
Musée de l’Orangerie

Musée de l’Orangerie is another place near Place de la Concorde that you can check out. You can find this art museum inside the Tuileries Garden, and the museum’s collection includes works of impressionism and post-impressionism art.

You can find this museum close to the entrance of the Tuileries Garden on Place de la Concorde. You can also see the exterior of the museum from the square. The building in which the museum is located used to store the citrus trees of the Tuileries garden during winter to protect them against the cold.

The most famous works that you can see at Musée de l’Orangerie are The Water Lillies by Claude Monet. Besides those works, you can also see art by Matisse, Picasso, and other artists at the museum.


View of the Champs-Élysées

Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in Paris, and you can find the street next to Place de la Concorde.

The Champs-Élysées runs from Place Charles de Gaulle, where you can find the famous Arc de Triomphe, to Place du Concorde. Thus, from Place du Concorde, you can easily get there.

The famous avenue has a total length of 2 kilometers and is very wide. The avenue has a width of 70 meters.

On the Champs-Élysées, there are lots of stores, making the street great if you want to shop. Some of the shops that you can find there are Lonchchamp, Zara, and Omega.

There are also restaurants, cafes, and pastry shops on the Champs-Élysées. One of the best pastry shops that you can find on the avenue is Ladurée, which is a macaron shop where you can get delicious macarons or have breakfast.

The Champs-Élysées is also home to the Galerie des Arcades. This is a small indoor shopping mall with an entrance on the avenue.

Lots of annual events also take place at Avenue des Champs-Élysées. For example, the street is usually the finish of the Tour de France cycling race.

Seine River

When exploring Place de la Concorde, I recommend also going for a walk along the Seine River or riding a bike along the river.

On the southern side of Place de la Concorde, you can find Pont de la Concorde and the Seine River.

You can walk along the banks of the river and enjoy a beautiful view. In addition to that, you could also go for a bicycle ride along the river, for this, there are dedicated bike lanes, such as along Quai des Tuileries. If you want to rent a bike and ride here, I recommend looking at my article about getting around Paris by bike.

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Thanks for reading my guide to Place de la Concorde. I hope you’ll have a great time exploring the square!