Champs Elysees – The Most Famous Avenues in the World - The Traveller


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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Champs Elysees – The Most Famous Avenues in the World

The Avenue des Champs Elysees, a street in Paris, France, is one of the most famous avenues in the world. It is around two kilometres long and seventy meters wide. Towards its western end, the street is bordered with cinemas, theatres, cafes together with luxury shops.

Champs Elysees
Several French monuments are seen on this street including the Arc de Triomphe besides many others. On the opposite side near the Place de la Concorde is the street which is bordered by the Jardins des Champs Elysees, beautifully adorned with gardens and fountains with some grand building which include the Grand and Petit Palais at the southern end and the Elysees is at its northern end.

 The street has one of the elite institutions like the Presidential Elysee Palace which had been the residence of the French Presidents since 1873. According to a much used description, the Champs Elysees is` la plus belle avenue du monde’ which means `the most beautiful avenue in the world’. Besides being one of the most famous streets in the world, it is also one of the most expensive strips of real estate as well.

Redesigned – Extension of the Jardins des Tuileries 

In the sixteenth century it was but fields outside the centre of Paris and in 1616. Marie de Medicis planned to create a long tree lined path towards east from the Tuileries and the route was redesigned in 1667 by Andre Le Notre, a renowned landscape designer. This was an extension of the Jardins des Tuileries.

Grand Allee du Roule or Grand-Cours promenade had become a fashionable place though it was still isolated from the city with few building in the surrounding area.

Twenty seven years thereafter, the promenade was renamed to Champs Elysees or Elysian Fields in English where the name was derived from Greek mythology where Elusia is a place where heroes come to relax.

The Champs Elysees, in 1724, was then extended all the way to the Chaillot hill which is presently known as l’Etoile, which is the site of the Arc de Triomphe. It took its present shape in 1838 when the French architect Ignaz Hittorf who had redesigned the Place de la Concorde, created the Jardins des Champs Elysees.

Moreover he had also implemented sidewalks, fountains and gas lamps and the Champs Elysees gave way to more and more restaurants and hotels especially after 1900 when the Paris metro line 1 reached the Etoile station.

Major Celebration Conducted on the Avenue

Bernard Huetconducted the latest redesign of the prestigious avenue in 1994 where the side lanes were converted into pedestrian zone, with underground parking lot together with new trees that were planted which further enhanced the appearance of the street. Cars could occupy only half the width of this amazing avenue.

For all the major celebrations, the Champs Elysees was the preferred location and this is where Parisian celebrates New Year’s Eve as well as the military parades which are held on the 14th of July each year.

Other historic national events like the Liberation at the end of the Second World War or even the victory in the World Cup football were also celebrated on this avenue.

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