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Whether or not you are lucky enough to be stay­ing at the Ho­tel Crillon, one of the French cap­i­tal’s most lux­u­ri­ous prop­er­ties, the square it is po­si­tioned on is a good place to start your tour. Place de la Con­corde lies on the right bank, at the east­ern end of the Champ­sElysées in the eighth ar­rondisse­ment, and at more than 22 acres is the largest pi­azza in Paris. Many of the build­ings that sur­round it of­fer fine ex­am­ples of ro­coco ar­chi­tec­ture, a style typ­i­cal of the pe­riod dur­ing the reign of Louis XV.

Dur­ing the French Revo­lu­tion, the king’s suc­ces­sor Louis XVI lost his head to the guil­lo­tine here, along with his wife Marie An­toinette, and the site was tem­po­rar­ily re­named Place de la Révo­lu­tion. Dur­ing the year-long“Reign of Ter­ror”be­tween 1793 and 1794, many hun­dreds were ex­e­cuted on the site. Nowa­days it’s a far less per­ilous area to take a stroll – look out for the or­nate foun­tains (you may rec­og­nize one of them from the movie The Devil Wears Prada) and the 3,300-year-old Obelisk of Luxor, which was gen­er­ously gifted to the French by the viceroy of Egypt in 1829, and silently stands in the place of the dreaded“na­tional ra­zor.”

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