The Chapelle de la Compassion at Porte Maillot is curiously positioned between a coach park, the périphérique motorway and a busy roundabout, but the story as to how it found itself here is more curious still.
In 1842, the Prince Ferdinand-Philippe d'Orleans was killed in an accident near this spot, falling from his carriage after his horses had bolted. It was decided that a chapel should be built on the exact place of his death, a shop called the Epicerie Cordier where he was taken immediately following the accident. The chapel in the shape of a Greek cross, originally known as the Chapelle Saint Ferdinand, was built on this plot, but it's not clear what happened to the shopkeeper and his store!
However, although the chapel we see today is the original building, it has now moved around 100 metres from the position in which it was initially situated. When work began on the large-scale developments in this area in the 1960s - the motorway, the underground passageways, the Palais de Congrès, it was found to be particularly poorly situated. With the French Royal family having limited importance, its move a little to the North met with almost no opposition.
This building in the shape of a cross therefore still marks a spot, but not the one it was originally designed for!