Concorde, Place de la (pläs də lä kôNkôrdˈ) [key], large square, Paris, France. It is bounded by the Tuileries gardens; the Champs Élysées; the Seine River; and a facade of buildings divided by a vista of the Madeleine Church. It is the locus of the zero marker, the official center for the national highways ( Routes nationales ). The Pont de la Concorde, a monumental bridge, leads from the Place to the other side of the Seine. The square was designed by Jacques Gabriel and built between 1755 and 1792. It was originally planned as a monument to the then ruling Louis XV, whose statue stood in the center, and was called "Place Louis XV." In 1792 the statue was torn down, the square renamed "Place de la Révolution," and a guillotine set up, transforming the area into a site of mass executions. Under the Directory the name "Concorde" was adopted (although during the Bourbon restoration of 1815–30 "Place Louis XV" was revived). The central obelisk, a gift of the Egyptian viceroy, was erected in 1836. The fountains were constructed between 1836 and 1846.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.