Avenue des Champs-Élysées. 8e arr.
Métro : Charles-de-Gaulle Étoile (1, 2, 6, A), George V (1), Franklin D. Roosevelt (1, 9), Champs-Élysées Clemenceau (1, 13), Concorde (1, 8, 12)
One of the most famous streets in the world, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées runs through the heart of the 8th arrondissement and is part of the Voie Triomphale. One of the widest streets in Paris, the Champs-Élysées is a mixture of the very old and the very new. Expanded to its present size in the 19th century, it is now a major roadway, commercial strip, tourist attraction, and the site of many major events and demonstrations. It has been the location of many historic events in the history of Paris.
We first went to the Champs-Élysées on our walk following the Rodin Museum. Closer to the Concorde, the street is very picturesque, with a large grassy area in between the two directions of traffic. As we walked down towards the Arc de Triomphe, the street turned into a big strip mall, with huge movie theaters, restaurants, and fancy stores. Noelle liked the huge Louis Vitton luggage façade on the side of one of the buildings (see picture) and all the girls wanted to see the huge Sephora store. Later during the trip, we returned to the Champs-Élysées many times to see movies and go to night clubs.
Place de la Concorde
Adresse : place de la Concorde. 8e arr.
Métro : Concorde (1, 8, 12)
At the end of Sophie’s tour of the “places Royale” came the place de la Concorde. Unlike the other royal places that were entirely enclosed by buildings (mainly residences), Louis XV wanted to create a place that was open to everything. At the time that it was built, it was surrounded by fields and woods, with the nearest developed land being the Tuileries (see picture). The area remains open to this day, with a large amount of traffic going around the obelisk and the two fountains added to either side of the tall statue in 1830. The fountains are gorgeous, all green and gold with statues of the Greek gods. The obelisk itself is very impressive, seeming to stretch up forever, despite its comparatively skinny width and depth. It would have been nice to see everything in the daytime, but I never made it back there before sunset.