AVENIDA DE LOS CAMPOS ELISEOS
La avenida de Campos Eliseos es probablemente una de las avenidas mas famosas del Mundo. This impressive promenade stretches from the
Place the la Concorde to the Place Charles de Gaulle, the site of
the Arco del Triunfo.
At its western end it is bordered by cinemas, theatres, cafés
and luxury shops. Near the Place de la Concorde, the street is bordered
by the Jardins des Champs-Elysées, beautifully arranged gardens
with fountains and some grand buildings including the Grand and
Petit Palais at the southern side and the Elysée at its northern
side. The Champs-Elysées is used for all the major celebrations.
This is where Parisians celebrate New Year's Eve and where the military
parades are held on the 14th of July. Historic national events,
like the Liberation at the end of the second World War or the victory
in the World Cup football were also celebrated on this wide avenue.
GRAND PALAIS PETIT PALAIS
At the foot of the Champs-Elysées, the Grand and Petit Palais
face one another on Av. Winston Churchill. Built for the 1900 World’s
fair, they were widely received as a dazzling combination of “banking
and dreaming”, exemplifying the ornate art nouveau
architecture. While the Petit Palais houses an eclectic mix of artwork,
its big brother has been turned into a space for temporary exhibitions
on architecture, painting, sculpture and French history. The Petit
Palais has been the residence of the French Presidents since 1873.
PALAIS DE LA DÉCOUVERTE
The Grand Palais houses the Palais de la Découverte, a science
museum/playground for children. Kids tear around the Palais’
interactive science exhibits, pressing buttons that start comets
on celestial trajectories. Grown-up kids will have as much fun exploring
colourful displays and exhibits of the museum, and will learn a
surprising amount about the world. The Planetarium has shows 4 times
PLAZA DE LA CONCORDE
One of the largest and most historically significant squares in
Paris, the Place de la Concorde was originally named after Louis
XV (Place Louis XV) and was designated as the site for which a commemorating
statue of the king would be erected. A few decades later, revolutionaries
seized power, renamed the square Place de La Revolution and replaced
the statue with a guillotine. The square soon became the forefront
of public execution and saw many famous dignitaries, such as Louis
XVI, Marie Antoinette and Danton, fall victim to the macabre enterprise.
A total of 2,800 executions were committed here between 1793 and
1795. It is said the scent of blood was so strong here that a herd
of cattle once refused to cross the grounds. After the revolution
the Place would change names several times over, until it was officially
dubbed the Place de la Concorde by the 1830 Revolution, a name chosen
to symbolize the close of a turbulent era. Supplanting the guillotine
is the powerful Obelisk of Luxor, a pink granite monolith that was
given to the French as a gift in 1829 by the viceroy of Egypt, Mehemet
Ali. Installed in 1833, the Obelisk stands in the center of the
Place, dividing the Tuilerie Gardens and the Avenue de Champs Elysees.
The Obelisk is flanked on both sides by two fountains constructed
during the same period.
Plaza de la Concorde
ARCO DE TRIUNFO
Napoléon, the French emperor who conquered most of Europe
at the beginning of the 19th century, admired the Roman people.
In 1806, following their example, he decided to build a big arch
of triumph which stands at the top of the Champs Elysées.
His victorious troops would march on through the arch cheered by
the population of Paris. This never happened thanks to General Wellington
who defeated Napoléon at Waterloo in 1815. The Arco del Triunfo
was finished in 1836. It magnificently crowns the hill from where
the Champs Elysées, the Avenue Foch, the Avenue de la Grande
Armée and nine other avenues radiate.
Arco del Triunfo
The Arco del Triunfo keeps the memory of all the dead killed in
World War I (1914/1918) with the grave of the unknown soldier
and a permanently burning flame of remembrance. At national days,
a flag is stretched through the arch.
PLAZA CHARLES DE GAULLE – L’ETOILE
Plaza Charles de Gaulle
Place Charles de Gaulle was for a long time called Place de l'Etoile
(Star Square) because of the geometrical design of the twelve avenues
fanning out from the square, which is located at the summit of the
old Roule hill, and which converge on the Arco del Triunfo. The Place
de l'Etoile took the name Charles de Gaulle upon General de Gaulle's
death in 1970.
PALAIS DE L’ELYSÉE – PRÉSIDENCE DE LA
The Palais de l’Élysée is the official residence
of the French President. The current name of the palace derives
from its proximity to the Avenue des Champs-Elysées which
is behind the garden behind the palace. The building is both the
official residence and the official workplace of the French Président
de la République, but some presidents (such as François
Mitterrand, predecessor to Jacques Chirac) have preferred to live
in their existing homes or apartments, coming to the palace only
The Madeleine is an obese Napoleonic structure on the classical
temple model which was built for the emperor as yet another monument
to the victory of his army.
Following many vicissitudes and changes of plan, the present building
is now a windowless edifice with a Greek temple facade of Corinthian
columns 20 metres high. Work on the church was begun in I764.
However, following the death of the architect in 1777 a new scheme
was considered, and a Greek cross building begun. Well before
its completion the revolutionary government dreamt up more rational
uses for the building in progress. Napoleon decided on a Temple
of Glory dedicated to the Great Army and in I806 commissioned
Barthelemy Vignon to build it. After the erection of the colonnades,
Louis XVIII, restored to power in I8I4, ordered that the temple
be once more a church. Unlike the exterior, the interior is lavishly
overdecorated. At the east end a series of frescoes celebrates
heroes of Christianity in a span which includes, surprisingly,
The church of St-Augustin is definitely off the beaten path: no
lines to get in, like Notre Dame. Built from 1860 to 1871, this
church made use of structural iron to reach new heights. The architect,
Victor Baltard, was responsible for the now-vanished Les Halles.
Saint Augustin's dome is 50 meters high. If you visit the church,
note the way the iron structure was incorporated into the design
iron columns, iron angels.
The Gare St-Lazare’s platforms and iron-vaulted canopy are
a bit grubby, but not to be missed by train riders and fans of Monet’s
painting “la Gare St-Lazare” and Zola’s novel
about the station and its trains, “La Bete Humaine”.Chronologically
the first Parisian railway station, it was first built (1837) a
little further to the North, next to the Place d'Europe. Rebuilt
by Alfred Armand between 1841-1843, it was later extended by Eugène
Gare Saint Lazare
The Duke of Chartres, later Duke of Orleans, built, near the village
of Monceau, a “madness”. The comedies author and drawer,
Carmontelle, with the help of the gardener Thomas Blaikie, created
a garden of dream with fake gothic ruins, a Deutsch mill, a tartar
tent, a pagoda, an Egyptian pyramid… The garden was a curious
place revealing nature and civilisation charms. Paris sold the Half
of the park to the Péreire brothers when Monceau was attached
to the capital, in 1860. They built mansions, while the other half
was transformed in an English style park by Alphand for the commissioner
Hausmann. It soon became a public garden. Along its calm alleys
the park still owns its beautiful statues, its pyramid –made
by Carmontelle-, and its “Naumachie”. The park houses
the largest tree in Paris: an oriental platane of 7 mt and 2 centuries