Champs Élysées

Champs Élysées (10)

When we speak of the Champs Elysées of Paris, we are speaking of what is one of the most famous avenues in the world. This is where sports lovers have a yearly date for being the place where the Tour de France ends and is also the reference point for fashion lovers, since here are based the most important international labels. The Champs Elysées is the perfect example of a street that never rests, day or night.

It begins to the west of the Place de la Concorde, where alter crossing a small park we come across the first numbered buildings of this singular avenue, which ends at the Arc de Triomphe. Parisians refer to the Champs Elysées as “the most beautiful avenue in the world”. We do not know if it is the most beautiful but what we can assure you is that it is the longest avenue in Paris at almost 2 kilometres long.

The name Champs Elysées, the Elysium Fields, comes from Greek mythology, the name given to the final resting place, reserved exclusively for the virtuous souls. It would be the equivalent of Christian Paradise. To gain access to the Elysium Fields they had to drink in the River Lethe, which would make them forget their time in hell.

In the high part of the avenue, which begins with the Place Charles de Gaulle there are cinemas, luxury shops and department stores. Among these is one dedicated to music.

The lower part of the avenue, which comes out in the Place de la Concorde, is surrounded by gardens and there are several grandiose public buildings such as the Palace of Discovery, the Small Palace and Grand Palace, as well as the University of Paris.

The Champs Elysées are part of the historic centre of Paris, which goes from the Tulleries Gardens to the Louvre Museum.

On the opposite side of the Arc de Triomphe, the Avenue Grand Armée and Avenue Charles de Gaulle prolong the Champs Elysées. In the 1990s the Grande Arche was built at this junction, in the modern district of La Defense, one of the most important financial centres of the European Union.

The origins of the avenue date back to 1616, when Queen Maria de Médicis ordered a series of poplar groves to be planted in the area that is today the Champs Elysées. In 1724 the current layout was completed and a century later the platforms were built. In 1994 the most ambitious remodelling work was undertaken on the street until the present.

Prestigious and luxurious, the Avenue des Champs Élysées is, therefore, very expensive, with prices among the highest in the world. There are few private residents in the area and the buildings are generally for offices. A committee has been set up for the maintenance and embellishment of the avenue and to conserve its prestige, which may involve the acceptance or otherwise of the establishment of a particular company or commerce.  

The Champs Elysées is also the setting for big popular events such as the 14th of July Parade, the national day of France. Moreover, on the 31st of December the avenue becomes pedestrian-only to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. You must have seen the avenue in hundreds of films.

Art, fashion, luxury... enjoy the splendour of one of the most spectacular and beautiful avenues in the world.

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