16 September 2015

La Place de la Concorde from afar

Here are still more photos from the top of the Tour Montparnasse. If you read this blog often, you'll get tired of hearing me introduce the photos every day. Remember, though, that some other reader might just drop into the blog through a Google search and not have seen earlier posts.

The tightest shot is the one above. As you can see, restoration and renovation work is going on and is hidden by huge decorative tarps. There must be scaffolding behind them. The U.S. Embassy is just barely visible on the left. In the middle of the place is an obelisk that was given to the French king Charles X as a gift by Egypt nearly 200 years ago.

The scariest part of the Place de la Concorde for Americans is driving around it. There are almost no lanes marked on the pavements, and cars, trucks, and buses seem to fly around the place in a wild free-for-all. Actually there are rules for the traffic flow. The main one is priorité à droite — you are expected to yield to vehicles on your right. And there are traffic lights all around the place.

In this last photo, you can see the U.S. Embassy building on the far left, the Hôtel de Crillon in the middle (being restored and renovated by new Saudi Arabian owners, evidently), and the colonnade of the (identical) Ministère de la Marine building farther to the right. In this view, you can see the long narrow buildings that are the Galerie du Jeu de Paume (farther back) and the Musée de l'Orangerie (more in the foreground). Both are in the Jardin des Tuileries, which is part of the Louvre complex. The Eglise de la Madeleine is on the upper right, linked to the Place de la Concorde by the Rue Royale.


  1. Aha, the Place de la Concorde....
    a place in Paris I have actually visited....
    along with another 3,500 2CV and A-Series drivers...
    numerous Traction Avants, H-Vans, DS's...
    as well as air-cooled Visas and the odd Simca, Panhard...
    the year... 1998... for the 50th birthday of the 2CV...
    the date... late May... the time Friday rush-hour...
    and we all had priority over everyone...
    'twas chaos!! The gendarmes just shrugged at the real inhabitants... the Maire had said "Oui!!"
    I think that a zero was probably missing from the description of the event he was given???!
    The actual Place was all boarded off...
    renovation work was going on there at the time...
    so this is the first time I have actually seen the area...
    I'm not fed up with these posts at all!
    Keep 'em coming....
    elderly Peugeots, too

  2. Blogger just did to me...
    something along the lines of CHM's comment yesterday...
    "elderly Peugeots, too" should be after Panhard!

  3. Wow-- we don't often see Place de la Concorde from far above like this (except maybe during the Tour de France final day coverage LOL).

  4. Seeing the buildings from above give one insight about their true size. The Orangeries and Jeu de Paume are quite long. Before I realized there were tarps in the photo, I thought you had worked some photo shop on the buildings to make them look like paintings somehow.

  5. I am loving the Paris photos both you and Walt are posting. As Walt said...paradise.

  6. The tarps are pretty good...at first glance, I didn't realize the one to the left of the Tissot ad was even there. Place de la Concorde and Place'd'Etoile: it's been many years, but I had to go around more than once and all I could think about was my auto insurance.

    I have read that Egypt has asked for the reutrn of the Luxor Obelisk, much in the same way Greece has asked for the return of the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum. I wonder if wither will ever happen?

    1. The difference between the Luxor Obelisk and the Elgin Marbles was that the former was given by Mehemet Ali to Charles X of France and the latter were stolen from Greece by Lord Elgin.

    2. Thanks, chm. I didn't know that. A big difference indeed.

  7. I learn a lot of history right here. Thanks, CHM.

  8. I've ridden a Vélib bike around Place de la Concorde. Actually I didn't find it all that frightening, creeping round the outside of all the traffic.


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