The place de la Concorde,an obelisk and horses!!

Moving right along in the gorgeous Place de la Concorde, of which several posts have been written by yours truly on the overall square. However, felled that they are things in there needed to be told more openly in a post of their own. Therefore, here is my new rendition of the place de la Concorde, an obelisk and horses!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Luxor Obelisk is originally from the Temple of Amun at Luxor in Egypt, erected since 1836 in the center of Place de la Concorde in Paris.

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It was Mehemet Ali, Viceroy of Egypt, as a sign of goodwill who, with the agreement of Baron Taylor and then Jean-François Champollion, offered king Charles X and France in early 1830 the two obelisks erected in front of the Temple of Luxor, but only the one on the right of the temple was taken down and transported to France. In exchange for the obelisks, Louis-Philippe I offered in 1845 a copper clock which today adorns the Cairo citadel, but which, for the record, never worked, at least according to the people of Cairo, having probably been damaged during the delivery. President François Mitterrand officially announced on September 26, 1981 that France was definitely renouncing to take possession of the second obelisk, which had remained there, thus returning its property to Egypt.

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A specially built ship, the Louxor, commanded by Raymond de Verninac Saint-Maur, left Toulon in April 1831 and sailed up the Nile in August. It is a flat-bottomed, single-purpose barge of unusual construction whose dimensions have been studied according to the bridges over the Seine. After getting as close as possible to the obelisk thanks to the digging of a channel by 300 fellahs, the boat embarked the monolith on December 19. Eight months passed before the Nile, in flood, allowed the ship to float on August 18. The barge left Thebes on August 25, 1832, arrived on October 2 at Rosetta, at the mouth of the Nile, where it was blocked by sandbanks. On January 1, 1833, the Louxor crossed the bar of the Nile thanks to the local winds which moved the sand and reached Alexandria the next day. The crew had to wait out the winter storms to leave port on April 1, 1833 with their precious cargo. The ship was towed by the steam corvette Sphinx on the Alexandria – Rouen route. Arrived in Toulon on the night of May 10 to 11, 1833, it reached Paris on December 23 after having circumnavigated Spain and ascended the Seine from Rouen, after a stopover in Cherbourg. It is then deposited lying on the quay at the start of the Cours-la-Reine in Paris.

paris pl de la concorde obelisk et fontaine des fleuves nov19

King Louis-Philippe I decides to erect it in the center of Place de la Concorde. It replaces a monument in honor of king Louis XVI, beheaded in the same place during the French revolution. The first stone of this monument, which included an equestrian statue of the king was laid by king Charles X on May 3, 1826. The royal statue that occupied the center of the square was destroyed in 1830. The choice of a monument totally foreign to national history was intended to prevent quarrels over memory and attempts to appropriate this high place of the French revolution by this or that faction. In other word, erase history as usual in France. The obelisk was erected with great pomp on October 25, 1836.

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The obelisk, dating from the 13C BC, measures 23 meters in height and weighs 222 tons, to which must be added the 240 tons of the pedestal. Its summit is 33.37 meters high. The medallion mentioning the rotation of the obelisk is located about ten meters north of the monument, on the noon hour line; it marks the position of the end of the obelisk’s shadow at noon on the day of the summer solstice (June 21), when the shadow is shortest in the year. The monument was restored in early 2022.

The Chevaux de Marly or the Horses of Marly are two sculpted groups representing prancing horses and their grooms. In Carrara marble, they were executed between 1743 and 1745.

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The tension of the figures, the dynamism of the movement and the epic breath which emerge from these groups testify to the Baroque current of French sculpture of the second third of the 18C. The Horses of Marly were commissioned in 1739 by king Louis XV from the sculptor Guillaume Coustou, to adorn the trough located at the entrance to the park of the Château de Marly,(Yvelines 78) in order to replace two sculpted groups. These, Mercury on Horseback on Pegasus and Fame on Horseback on Pegasus by Antoine Coysevox, had in fact been moved in 1719 to the Tuileries gardens. The models were chosen by the king in 1743, and were installed in Marly in 1745, after only two years of work. The French revolutionary government decided in 1794 to transport them to Paris and place them at the entrance to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. In 1984, in particular because the parade of tanks on July 14 National Day, weakened them, they were replaced by concrete copies made by the company Bouygues. The originals are kept at the Louvre Museum in an old courtyard of the Richelieu wing transformed into a patio, called the Cour Marly. Victor Hugo particularly admired “these neighing marbles rearing up on a cloud of gold”.

paris pl de la concorde eq statue chevaux de marly et eiffel nov19

The Paris tourist office on the Place de la Concorde:https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/90907/Place-de-la-Concorde

The city of Paris going outs guide on the Place de la Concorde: https://www.sortiraparis.com/arts-culture/histoire-patrimoine/articles/172709-histoire-de-la-place-de-la-concorde

There you go folks, a wonderful must see while in Paris. Get the inmense feeling of this eternal beautiful city with the sights of architecture and history all around you in the Place de la Concorde!!! Paris is indeed a mouvable feast!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

2 Comments to “The place de la Concorde,an obelisk and horses!!”

  1. I was there a few days ago, thank you for the informations !

    Liked by 1 person

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