Champs Elysées and Arc de Triomphe
“The most beautiful avenue of the world” runs for 2km through Paris’ 8th arrondissement from the Place de la Concorde to the Place Charles de Gaulle and the Arc de Triomphe. Champs Elysees is French for Elysian Fields, the final resting place of the virtuous in Classical mythology. It was an important landscaped thoroughfare dating back the seventeenth century. In 1830 French architect Ignaz Hittorf added gas lamps, fountains, and sidewalks; creating what is essentially the modern Champs Elysees.
Overtime more and more retailers moved in and today it is one of the most famous shopping centers in the world. Just about every luxury brand has an outlet here. Few people live along the Champs Elysees because of the exorbitant rents. It’s one of the most expensive streets in the world in terms of real estate. In addition to shopping, the boulevard is lined with restaurants, cafes, and several museums. It also serves as the finish line of the Tour de France.
The Champs Elysees terminates at the Arc de Triomphe, one of the city’s most famous landmarks. At 50m tall, it is the second largest triumphant arch in the world behind North Korea’s. It was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806, but due to political troubles was not completed until 1836. The arch is located in the center of the chaotic Place Charles de Gaulle, the intersection of a remarkable twelve avenues.
No trip to Paris is complete without taking a stroll down the Champs Elysees.
Metro: Champs Elysees, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George V, Charles de Gaul-Etoile (1)