Stately and beautiful with its obelisk, fountains and statues, its delightful views down green avenues to the Louvre on the east and the Arc de Triomphe to the west, and towards the church of the Madeleine on the north and the chambre des Députés on the south.
The square was made under Louis XV. and was decorated with his equestrian statue by Bouchardon. This was demolished by the legislative assembly in 1792, and replaced by a statue of liberty. Soon, however, the square took the name of Place de la Révolution, when the expressionguillotinereffaced that oflanterner(stroll), and, under the Reign of Terror, the scafold was permanently established here. Thus, the most terrible memories of the great Revolution are concentrated on this spot, where 2.800 persons perished between January 21, 1793 and May 3, 1795. The fountain on the south side, decorated with figures emblematic of Marine navigation, marks the exact spot where Louis XVI. died, jan 21, 1793, and Marie Antoinette on the 16th of the following october.
The obelisk, brought from Louxor, and given to France by Mahomet-Ali, was erected here under Louis-Philippe in 1836. It is covered with hieroglyphics celebrating Rameses II, or Sesostris, who reigned in the fourteenth century before Christ. The history of its transport from Egypt is represented upon the pedestal.
Two groups of sculptures by Guillaume Coustou, known as les Chevaux de Marly, decorate the entrance to the noble promenade called “le Grand Cours” but which has been known as le Champs Elysées since the time of Louis XV.Eight allegorical statues typify the great cities of France- Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lille, Strasbourg, Rouen and Brest.
Nothing remains of the past Tuileries but the garden and its vast population of statues. No one can scarcely realize the scene as it was before the Revolution of 1871. Then rose the majestic facade of a palace, infinitely harmonious in colour, indescribably picturesque and noble in form. Malignant folly ruined it, apathetic and narrow-minded policy declined to restore it. Of the few remains, the north terrace, above the rue de Rivoli, is the same Terrasse des Feuillants, along which Louis XVI., and his family escaped from the Tuileries August 10, 1792, to take refuge in the National Assembly.