What a fabulous square, and how impressive!
The only thing that can be criticized is the presence of the curbed island in the middle - the outer parts are given over to traffic, so much of this square is not actually available to pedestrians. Heavy traffic (and preferably all traffic) should be kept out of a square.
Notice that even the buildings in the background maintain the appearance of symmetry (even though they are not, in fact, in symmetry). In some aspects of city design, not only do appearances count, they're all that count.
Does anyone know why there is a broad staircase leading into the ground? I think this photograph was probably taken before the construction of the Paris Metro. It might lead to public bathrooms. If it's neither of these, then I'm baffled.
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