Place de la Concorde
Lonely Planet review for Place de la Concorde
With is majestic vistas in just about every direction – the Arc de Triomphe, the Assemblée Nationale (the lower house of Parliament) and even a rare swath of open sky above – place de la Concorde is one of Paris’ most impressive squares. It was first laid out in 1755 and originally named after King Louis XV; however, its associations with royalty meant that it would eventually go on to take centre stage during the Revolution.
Louis XVI was the first to be guillotined here in 1793; during the next two years, 1343 more people, including Marie Antoinette, Danton and Robespierre, all lost their heads here as well. The square was given its present name after the Reign of Terror in the hope that it would become a place of peace and harmony. In the centre, atop the site of one of the former guillotines, stands a 3300-year-old Egyptian obelisk engraved with hieroglyphics. It originally stood in the Temple of Ramses at Thebes (now Luxor) and was presented to France in 1831. The corners of the square are marked by eight statues representing what were once the largest cities in France.