1 PLACE DE LA CONCORDE
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.”