Sunday, August 8, 2010

Paris, France - Fountains on the Place de la Concorde

The city of Paris has some of the world's most beautiful fountains. One of the prettiest fountains can be found near the Obelisque at the Place de la Concorde.

The two fountains in the Place de la Concorde have been the most famous of the fountains built during the time of Louis-Philippe, and came to symbolize the fountains in Paris. They were designed by Jacques-Ignace Hittorff, a student of the Neoclassical designer Charles Percier at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The German-born Hittorff had served as the official Architect of Festivals and Ceremonies for the deposed King, and had spent two years studying the architecture and fountains of Italy.

Hittorff's two fountains were on the theme of rivers and seas, in part because of their proximity to the Ministry of Navy on the Place de la Concorde, and to the Seine. Their arrangement, on a north-south axis aligned with the obelisk of Luxor, and the Rue Royale, and the form of the fountains themselves, were influenced by the fountains of Rome, particularly Piazza Navona and the Piazza San Pietro, both of which had obelisks aligned with fountains.

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