Place des Pyramides Square in Paris
The Place des Pyramides is a square that has views to the famous Musee du Louvre, the Tuileries Gardens and the magnificent arcades of the Rue de Rivoli, not forgetting the impressive gilded equestrian statue of Joan of Arc sitting in the centre of the intersection that was produced in the 1800s.
About Place des Pyramides
Originally the street called the Rue des Pyramides was named after the Battle of the Pyramids, which was a victory for Napoleon Bonaparte in Egypt in 1798, and this square in Paris was then named after the road.
However, the area where this square in Paris is now located was once home to a riding academy that was set up in the 16th century by Antoine de Pluvinel who was a great French riding master.
And called the Academie d’Equitation it was to teach the aristocracy how to ride, but also the arts of dressage, etc and he taught King Henri III, King Henri IV and King Louis XIII to ride with the art of equitation, classical riding and dressage along with many other nobles.
Also, at the entrance to the lounge restaurant in the Rivoli room of the Hotel Regina, located at the Place des Pyramides you will see a plaque above the door that is a permanent reminder of what was once located here.
But also in front of this hotel in Paris and opposite the Musee du Louvre, you can discover an equestrian statue of Jeanne d’Arc situated in the centre of this square and intersection with the Rue de Rivoli, the Rue des Pyramides and the Avenue du General Lemonnier.
Statue of Joan of Arc at Place des Pyramides
It was following the defeat of France during the Franco-Prussion war in 1870 that the French state and the city of Paris decided that a monument should be erected to help re-establish confidence within the general public, and it was thought that Jeanne d’Arc, or Joan of Arc in English, would be a good choice.
It was the sculptor Emmanuel Fremiet who was provided the commission to produce an equestrian statue of Jeanne d’Arc for the city, as he had already produced numerous sculptures and statues for Napoleon III.
The statue is made of bronze and was gilded, to depict Joan of Arc riding into battle to one of her victories, and the base was produced by the architect Paul Abadie, plus there were railings put around it that were designed by Gabriel Davioud, although these are no longer there.
And it was inaugurated by Napoleon III in 1874 at the Place des Pyramides, which was close to where Joan of Arc had once been wounded during an attack in Paris back in 1429.
But Emmanuel Fremiet was not happy with this equestrian statue of Joan of Arc, feeling that the proportions between horse and rider were wrong, even though the city of Nancy requested a reproduction of this statue in Paris in 1889, and so, he removed the statue to make alterations to it.
Some believe that the original is now in Philadelphia in America, after they also requested a duplicate, although this brilliant artist claimed that it was melted down and completely recast.
But whatever the truth is, the equestrian statue of Jeanne d’Arc was put back in place at the square in 1899, and can still be seen in all its glory today at the Place des Pyramides, and has now been classified as an historical monument in Paris.
Yet if you are interested in discovering more works of art by Emmanuel Fremiet, or even seeing a memorial statue dedicated to him, then do go and visit the Jardin des Plantes in the 5th Arrondissement close to the River Seine.
Visiting Place des Pyramides in Paris
You will find the Place des Pyramides in the 1st Arrondissement on the Rue de Rivoli at the intersection with the Avenue du General Lemonnier and the Rue des Pyramides, right by the western end of the Tuileries Gardens and the Pavillon de Marsan of the Louvre Museum.
And when it comes to getting here via public transport in Paris, it is located in between two different Metro stations, the first being the Tuileries stop serving line 1, and the other being Palais Royal - Musee du Louvre stop that serves lines 1 and 7.
However, Paris bus numbers 21, 27, 39, 68, 69, 72, 81 and 95 will also get you close by, as will the Batobus water bus shuttle service on the River Seine along with some of the tours in Paris such as the company called l’OpenTour, which stops at many different tourist attractions.