A Little History of Place de la Concorde
Covering over 20 acres, Place de la Concorde is the largest public square in Paris. It was completed in 1772 and has experienced many historic events since then. During the French Revolution, a guillotine was erected and here King Louis XV, Marie Antoinette and thousands of others met their end during the Reign of Terror. In World War II, the German High Command had their headquarters in one of the buildings.
We visited this site on the first stop of a night shooting adventure, with six of us traveling in a chauffeured Mercedes, a treat that was funded by one of the other workshop participants. When walking through here at the end of the day, it’s difficult to reconcile its history with the placid atmosphere.
The fountains of Place de la Concorde
In the center of the square is an obelisk with hieroglyphic carvings that was a gift of the Egyptian government in the 19th century, but dates back to the time of Ramses II. On either side of the obelisk are two magnificent fountains, completed in 1840, and based on the theme of rivers and streams. Both fountains contain six figures holding fish spouting water, six seated figures, and four supporting the upper basin from which the water spills down. All of the figures are larger than life. Twelve different sculptors worked on the statuary of the fountains and the major figures were made of cast iron, and painted with bronze and gold paint. The smaller figures were made of bronze. For me, these fountains were the features of the square that I was most drawn to.
(Click on the photos to see in a larger size.)
South Fountain Detail
The north fountain was photographed with the setting sun backlighting the fountain and gave the whole scene warmer colors than the south fountain.
North Fountain Detail
We stayed for the sunset…
Place de la Concorde Sunset
…and after that, we sat on the ground waiting for the street lamps to light as we looked down the boulevard to the Arch de Triomphe. We left before that happened, though; we had more places to go and things to do.
looking to the Arch de Triomphe
These are not award-winning images, I understand, but I enjoyed the history, the beauty of the whole place and the experience of being there with new friends from the workshop.
These links will provide more information on Place de la Concorde and the Fountains.