on January 5, 2011
The Place de la Concorde is a site in Paris that has some amazing statues and monuments and is definately a must see for any visitor to the city. Although I had visited Paris before I had never actually been to the Place de la Concorde or the Arc de Triomph which is located near to it so I knew this time that it had to be on my list. The square is actually octogonal in shape and covers an area of 20 acres making it the largest square in the city. The sheer size of it means that although it gets extremely busy with toursits it never feels like you are being crowded and you can see most of the sights in relative peace and quiet. It was weird to think that I was standing in the place where the famous french guillotine was first placed and where so many famous historical figures were executed. This is where Marie Antoinette lost her head and also where Louis XV was executed. The guillotine is no longer in the square but I would have liked to have seen more commemerating this fact. For me the thing I was most interested in seeing was Cleopatra's needle, the 3300 year old obliesk that came from the tomb of Ramases III in Egypt and gifted to the city in the 19th century. I know there are three needles in total, one in London, New york and the one in Paris but this was the first of them I had seen and it certainly didn't dissapoint and is huge and pretty awe-inspiring. The Obelisk is decorated with Egyption heiroglyphics and I found it particularly intesesting that on the base there was drawning explaining how the massive obelisk was transported to Paris from Egypt. On either side of the obelisk there are two fountains worth seeing. There highly decorative fountains really reminded me of the fountains i had seen in Rome and have the same neo classical look to them. There are some other impressively detailed statues to be seen at the Place de la Concorde and some more fountains and whilst these are certianly worth seeing I didn't really linger here too long before deciding to explore the Champs-Elysées which the square leads to.
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