The 8th district of Paris follows the great axis from the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde and continues outside the classified area to the Champs Elysées, opening royally toward the Arc de Triomphe.
Place de la Concorde
Metro station: Concorde
Changed from Place Louis XV in 1755, then to Revolution Square, and finally to Place de la Concorde, it symbolizes reconciliation and national harmony. The largest square in Paris, it became, just after the Revolution, a trendy place for public execution. Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Danton and Robespierre were all guillotined there.
In the mid-19th century it took its current appearance, drawn by Louis-Philippe. The obelisk was given by the Pasha (viceroy) of Egypt. 3,300 years old, this monumental obelisk covered with hieroglyphics is 23 meters high as was erected in 1836. It took four years to arrive in France from Luxor.
Two monumental fountains adorned with mermaids and goldfish decorate the square: the Fontaine des Mers (Fountain of the seas) and the Fontaine des Fleuves (Fountain of the rivers) celebrate maritime and river navigation. It is composed of eight statues representing eight French cities.
Located at the foot of the Champs-Elysées, the square is now surrounded by prestigious hotels and fits nicely within the urban plan, respecting the view from the Tuileries to the Arc de Triomphe. Lighting up the dark in the age of electricity, the then prestigious square became a symbol of the City of Light.
Eglise de Sainte Marie Madeleine (Church of Saint Mary Magdalene)
Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris
Website - tel: 01 44 51 69 00
Metro station: Madeleine
Open daily: 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
This sanctuary houses the revered relics of Saint Mary Magdalene, witness of the resurrection of Christ and announcer to the apostles.
The first church dedicated to Mary Magdalene dates back to 1492. The reconstruction of the church was decided in 1757, and was completed in 1842. Its appearance is more reminiscent of an ancient Greek temple than a church. Indeed, during its construction Napoleon made it a mausoleum for the Grand Army. Very far from the standards of the churches of the time, it has neither crosses nor outside bells but many Corinthian columns and two monumental gates. The construction of this monument was part of the vast global development plan of the west side of the capital, including the Place de la Concorde.
The church houses a magnificent Cavaillé-Coll organ. Concerts at night.