The Lion of Belfort, Place Denfert-Rochereau, Paris


The Lion of Belfort is a bronze sculpture by Auguste Bartholdi situated at the middle of the square of Place Denfert-Rochereau in Paris (14th arrondissement). It is a smaller replica of the monumental statue carved out of the rock below the castle of Belfort.

The statue was acquired by the municipality of Paris in 1880 at the cost of 20,000 francs and placed in the 14th arrondissement at the Place Denfert-Rochereau.

The lion looks to the direction of the Statue of Liberty in the Île aux Cygnes which was also created by Bartholdi.

The statue is 4m high and 7m long and is one third the size of the original statue in Belfort.

The Lion of Belfort symbolises the resistance of Colonel Denfert-Rochereau during the siege of Belfort (1870-1871). The heroic resistance echoed all around France and exemplified French courage and honour. Bartholdi, a native from Colmar in Alsace, described his monument as “a colossal lion, harried, driven back and still terrible in his fury”.

The sculpture has been listed as a historic monument by the French State in 2003.

Place Denfert-Rochereau is also the location of the Catacombs of Paris.


About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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