Located at the very heart of Paris between the Champs Élysées to the west, and the Jardin des Tuileries to the east, the Place Louis XV was built in honor of the King in 1772. Its purpose was to evoke royal omnipotence.*
* That's quite an intimidating brief to get.
"We would like this building to evoke royal omnipotence."
"Right. Royal omnipotence. So... is that like royal incontinence?"
"No, it is absolutely not like that."
"No, of course not, no. So do you mean like royal impotence, is that it?"
"Not exactly. To be honest, I think we're going to need some new builders."
It was the scene of the tragic festivities surrounding the marriage of the dauphin (the future Louis XVI) and Marie Antoinette, in which, according to official figures, 132 people were trampled during a fireworks display. Twenty-three years later, Louis XVI was executed in the same plaza, now called the Place de la Révolution. Marie-Antoinette followed a few months later. The guillotine was installed at the Place de la Révolution permanently from May 19, 1793 until June 13, 1794. In these thirteen months, some 1,500 men and women would lose their heads.