A pleasant morning can be spent at the Arc de Triomphe, followed by a walk down the Champs-Élysées, a visit to the Place de la Concorde and a picnic in the Tuileries Garden behind it.
If you stroll down the Champs-Élysées from the Arc de Triomphe you’ll find the Place de la Concorde at its foot. It’s difficult to find a corner of Paris that didn’t play a part in the Revolution, and this beautiful square is no different. Once the Place de la Révolution, crowds cheered here as Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, and some 2,500 others lost their heads to the guillotine. It was eventually renamed in 1836 and got a startling new centrepiece to mark the occasion; a 75-foot granite Obelisk, carved from Egyptian stone in the 8th century BC.
Two magnificent identical stone buildings lie at the north end. They remain among the best examples of Louis XV architecture, a style renowned for its supreme craftsmanship. Having served as the opulent home of the Duc d’Aumont, the Comte de Crillon and the occupying German HQ, they now house the luxury Hôtel de Crillon.
The square was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1755 and was skirted by an octagonal moat between the Champs-Élysées to the west and the Tuileries Garden to the east. Decorated with statues and fountains representing different French cities, the square was initially named Place Louis XV to honour the king at that time, until sentiments changed thirty years later…
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