Place de la Concorde
The Place de la Concorde is between the Tuileries Gardens and the Champs Elysées on Paris's famous axis. It was laid out between 1755 and 1775. The 3,300-year-old pink granite obelisk with the gilded top in the square's centre was given to France in 1831 by Muhammad Ali, viceroy and pasha of Egypt. Towering 75 ft (23m) over the cobblestones, it once stood in the Temple of Ramses at Thebes (modern-day Luxor).
The 8 female statues adorning the 4 corners of the square represent France's largest cities. In 1793, after the French Revolution, Louis XVI's head was lopped off by a guillotine set up near the statue representing the city of Brest. During the next two years, another guillotine was used to behead 1343 more people, including Marie-Antoinette and the Revolutionary leader Danton. The square was given its present name after the Reign of Terror ended in the hope that it would be a place of peace and harmony.
The 2 imposing buildings on the north side of Place de la Concorde are the Hôtel de la Marine, headquarters of the French Navy, and the Hôtel de Crillon, one of Paris' most luxurious and exclusive hotels. It was here in 1778 that Louis XVI and Benjamin Franklin signed the treaty recognizing the independence of the new USA.
Catch metro lines 1, 8 or 12 to station Concorde, or walk up from the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens or down from the Champs-Elysées.