Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Best metro stations for Champs Elysees are:
Champs Elysees Clemenceau (line 1 and 13), Franklin Roosevelt (line 1 and 9), George V (line 1) and Charles de Gaulle - Etoile (line 1, 6, 2)
Charles de Gaulle - Etoile for Arc de Triomphe.
George V for middle of commercial area
Franklin Roosevelt for end of commercial area.
Champs Elysees Clemenceau for the Grand Palais and Petit Palais
Perhaps the worlds most famous street, the Champs Elysées in Paris provides an impressive mix of luxury shopping a great walking experience plus a unique, if not unfamiliar, site-seeing experience. It stretches from the Arc de Triomphe, sitting proudly on the 'Place Charles de Gaulle', down to the 'Place the la Concorde' .
Coming down from the Arc de Triomphe end the Champs-Elysées is bordered by cafés, cinemas, theatres and luxury shops. Before ultimately arriving at the Place de la Concorde, the street is bordered by the Jardins des Champs-Elysées, beautifully arranged gardens which lead you to the impressive Grand and Petit Palais.
A brief history.
This grand boulevard actually grew out of marshlands. In the early 17th century Marie de Médicis (Queen of France 1600-1610) decided to create a tree-lined pathway through them, calling it 'Cours de la Reine' - 'the way of the Queen'. It was further developed by Le Nôtre, gardener of the Château de Versailles and renamed the 'Grand Cours', extending all the way to the Château Saint-Germain the residence of King Louis XIV.
In 1709 it was renamed 'Champs Elysées' (English 'Elysian Fields') In Greek mythology 'Elusia' was a place for heroes to relax so it had already gained a degree of prestige and was obviously destined for greater things!. The avenue's definition as we know it today was formed by 1724 extending to the "Butte de Chaillot" (place de l’Etoile) but remained relatively free of buildings until late in the 18th century when it became popular with wealthy Parisians. It would however take until the mid 19th century, when it was acquired by the 'City of Paris', before they had sidewalks and street lighting installed. This attracted some of the wealthiest families of the city, like the Rothchilds, to build mansions, most of which have now been lost to time, on the 'avenue' and then more facilities to keep them entertained.
The beginning of the 20th century saw the arrival the Paris metro line 1 at the 'Etoile' station which in turn attracted more and more restaurants and hotels. In 1902 the metro line was extended directly under the avenue which then attracted more commercial organizations to set up headquarters here gaining a then prestigious address and this in turn heralded the arrival of luxury shops to cater for demands of their new customers. The Champs Elysées had now arrived as a symbol of modern Paris.
The last major change was as recent as 1994 when the lanes allocated to traffic were reduced and given over to pedestrians.
The Champs Elysées today plays host to many prestigious events including the Bastille Day parade and the finish line of the Tour de France.
Other transport options
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