Place de la Concorde
The Place de la Concorde is the largest square in the City of Light. Located in the 8th arrondissement, on the eastern end of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, its most striking feature is the Luxor Obelisk, also known simply as the Obélisque. The Luxor Obelisk was given to France by the viceroy of Egypt in 1829 and installed in the Place de la Concode in 1833. Shortly after this installation, two large fountains were added to the square.
These large and ornate fountains add even more visual appeal to the Place de la Concorde. Made of cast iron, the fountains' design was inspired by the fountains of Saint Peter's Square in Rome. The Parisian versions pay tribute to the French traditions of river and maritime navigation, with the corresponding motifs and figures adorning each fountain.
The shape of the Place de la Concorde was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, who envisioned a large octagon bordered by the Champs-Élysées, the Tuileries Garden and the Seine. To the north of the square are several hôtels particuliers, the French term for a special kind of grand townhouse, usually owned by nobility. These days, a lot of hôtels particuliers are used as offices for the state administration but many of them are also owned by private companies and used for commercial purposes.
At certain times of the year, a giant ferris wheel — called La Grande Roue — is also installed in the Place de la Concorde, giving visitors the chance to see Paris from a whole new perspective, high in the sky and in the center of the city's biggest square.