Place de la Nation
|Place de la Nation|
|Quarter||Sainte-Marguerite . Picpus|
|Begins||Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine|
|Ends||Avenue du Trône|
|Length||circular, diameter = 252 m|
|Width||252 m (827 ft)|
|Creation||Already present on the Delagrive plan in 1728|
|Denomination||2 July 1880|
The Triumph of the Republic
by Aimé-Jules Dalou
The place de la Nation (formerly the place du Trône, then the place du Trône-Renversé) is a square in Paris, on the border of the 11th and 12th arrondissements. It was renamed the Place de la Nation at the national festivities of 14 July 1880 and is served by the Paris Metro station Nation.
The city bears traces of the mur des Fermiers généraux built well beyond the buildings of Paris in a campaign to encircle houses, gardens and monasteries. Its construction left a vast grassy space of vines and market gardens as far as the medieval city wall and the walls of the gardens of the old village of Picpus, filled with major convents, schools and retreats. A throne was erected in this space on 26 July 1660 for the solemn arrival of Louis XIV and Maria Theresa of Spain following their marriage in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. This gave the square its original name of place du Trône.
Originally the square housed two pavilions and two columns of the barrière du Trône designed by Claude Nicolas Ledoux and built for the barrier of octroi (Mur des Fermiers généraux) which surrounded the entrance to the cours de Vincennes. The columns are surmounted by statues of kings Philip II and Louis IX.
During the Revolution, the square was renamed place du Trône-Renversé after 10 August 1792. A guillotine was built in the southern half of the square, near the pavilion of law built by Ledoux. Those guillotined here are buried at cimetière de Picpus and include:
- André-Marie Chénier, 25 July 1794.
- Cécile Renault, Henri Admirat and Jean-Baptiste Michonis, 17 June 1794.
- Josse-François-Joseph Benaut, composer, 13 July 1794.
- The Martyrs of Compiègne, Carmelite nuns, 17 July 1794
The central monument, "The Triumph of the Republic", is a bronze sculpture created by Aimé-Jules Dalou. It was erected to mark the centenary of the French Revolution, at first in plaster in 1889 and then in bronze in 1899. It represents a personification of the Republic, and looks towards place de la Bastille. The figure stands on a globe in a chariot pulled by lions and surrounded by various symbolic figures.
On 22 June 1963, the magazine Salut les copains organised a concert at Place de la Nation, featuring singers such as Johnny Hallyday, Richard Anthony, Eddy Mitchell and Frank Alamo. It attracted over 150,000 young people. The headline of the following day's issue of the journal Paris-Presse read, "Salut les voyous !". The photographer Jean-Marie Périer, who was a friend to many of the performers, photographed the concert. The Place de la Nation continued to be the location of the foire du Trône before the pelouse de Reuilly.
- As the picture shows, it is actually circular.
- (French) Recherche des rues de Paris