Called the most beautiful avenue in the world, the avenue of Champs-Élysées is also the most well-known. Millions of French and foreign visitors wander around it every year. It extends from the Place de la Concorde to the Place de l’Etoile.
Restaurants, cafés and night clubs are side by side with sings of luxury prêt-à-porter or general public brands. Regardless of the hour, day or night, the Champs-Élysées vibrate to the rhythm of the incessant comings and goings of cars and passersby.
The Arc de Triomphe that dominates from the Place de l’Etoile is the emblematic monument associated to this avenue.
The creation of the Champs-Élysées
In 1616, the Champs-Élysées were still nothing more than marshy fields. Marie de Médicis decided to build there a long avenue lined with trees: “the Queen’s course”.
The landscape architect André Le Nôtre conducts the transformation in 1670 according to the wishes of Louis XIV. It was then called “the Great Course” and wouldn’t take the name of Champs-Élysées until 1709. This avenue would stop at the current roundabout, before the great drain that would evacuate the dirty water from the Seine.
It was prolonged to the Etoile de Chaillot, the current Place de l’Etoile, in 1724.
It wasn’t until 1828, when it became a property of the city, that the avenue was endowed with a system of streetlights, sidewalks and fountains. The construction of a number of restaurants and cabarets then followed. The Champs-Élysées became a high-end of Parisian life under the Second Empire.
Avenue des Champs Élysées
Metro : Charles de Gaulle Etoile, Georges V, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Champs-Élysées Clémenceau, Concorde
Paris Tourism Office