8 th arrondissement , Paris-Pages.com

Petit Palais pages
Grand Palais, Paris 8th

The Madeleine

The Madeleine, above left , though comparitively young, has had quite a history.

Building started in 1764, when it was designed to be a church, but it wasn't completed by the time the French Revolution began and all building work stopped. From then until 1806 it was abandoned.

Then Napoleon decided to turn it into a temple for his "Great Army", but then he ran out of time and was sent packing to St. Helena. After that it was decided to return to the original idea of a church, and the work was finally completed in 1845.

There is a magnificent organ and Camille Saint-Saens was one of the organists.

The Grand Palais

The Grand Plalais, above right and right, was commissioned by the state at the same time as the Petit Palais and the Pont Alexandre III, in fact both were built for the 1900 World Exhibition.

It is a huge glasshouse, typical of the belle epoque style. Currently it houses many of the major art exibitions that visit Paris. And the western part of the Palais houses the Palais de la Decouverte; inaugurated in 1937 with the aim of bringing science to the masses.

It is a great place for kids with many interactive exhibits. Unfortunatley, however, the whole building was little more than a skeleton by the end of the liberation of Paris in August 1944. Right is one of the many elaborate statues on the Grand Palais

Grand palais statue
Place de la Concorde street light
Place de la Concorde fountain
Place de la Concorde obelisk

Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde (above, below left and right) is beautiful. It lies between the Champs Elysées and the Tuileries Gardens. The main points of interest are the two gilded fountains (see above and below) and the granite obelisk (left).

In a straight line from the obelisk you can see up the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe and onwards to the Grande Arch, and in the opposite direction through the Tuileries, through the Arc du Triomphe du Carrousel and straight to the Louvre. The obelisk came from Luxor and was raised in 1836. It dates from the 13th century BC.

The square, actually an octagon, was built by Gabriel for Louis XV during 1755-75 at what was then the edge of the city. Originally a moat separated it from the Champs Elysées.

It was built to commemorate the 1740-48 war of Austrian succession, and was called Place Louis XV. The pink granite obelisk was added in 1836. Pont de la Concorde, which leads off the square to cross the river at Assemblee Nationale in the 7th, was originally called Pont Louis XVI, and was built in the late 1780s using stones from the Bastille prison.

Even the street lighting (left) is gilded and ornate.

  fountain at Place de la Concorde, Paris 75008
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