The royal road
The Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe are the historical heart of this tour, namely the French revolution for the first one, and the memories of the Napoleonic and the 20th century wars.
Between them are the Champs-Elysées. The royal road of Louis XIV became the triumphal road of Napoleon Bonaparte. But most importantly it is the Universal Exhibition of 1900 which gave it an international popularity and made it a modern place. Called the « most beautiful avenue in the world », it mostly owes this designation to the stunning view it gives.
Even though going straight ahead is the shortest way to go from one place to another, it is necessary to make some detours and so via the gardens and their numerous sculptures, via the theatres (but why are they all circular?) and via the three Palais (Grand, Petit and Decouverte), that we owe to universal exhibitions.
On the upper part of the Champs-Elysées, from the roundabout to the Etoile (Star), the god of merchants invaded the place. Nonetheless some remains of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century survived with their numerous anecdotes and are worth a look.
A French singer, no longer of this world, dedicated one of his songs to the Champs-Elysées. The chorus of this success of the year 1969, rather inexplicable today, ended with « … il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysées… » (there is everything you want in the Champs-Elysées). We cannot but recognise that this is true ! Go there and you will see...
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Starting point :
Concorde metro station (metro lines 1, 8 and 12).
- 3h00 walking,
- 1/2 day with the visit of one of the three museums,
- the entire day with the visit of one of the three museums and the ascent to the patio of the Arc de Triomphe.
- Public : All
- Means of transport : By foot
Access for persons with reduced mobility :
yes, if accompanied for the ascent of the Arc de Triomphe by lift.
- Total distance : 4 km