The Place de l’Etoile
literally radiates out from one end of the Champs Elysées
, the most well-known and prestigious of the twelve avenues that converge here.
The Arc de Triomphe
, erected at its centre, dominates this prestigious roundabout. The circulation there is nonetheless particularly important and puts to the test the nerves of even the most seasoned drivers!
Formerly named the Place de l’Etoile, it was renamed Place Charles-de-Gaulle on November 13, 1979, in honor of the French general. The change in name would incidentally spur controversy. You will note, in the paving of the street, the pointed ends of a gigantic star.
Some important works of transformation
Until the end of the 18th century, the Place de l’Etoile was nothing more than a mound of earth located outside the Paris city limits. The “Butte of Chaillot” was at the time a hunting crossroads.
Between 1762 and 1774, under the orders of the Marquis of Marigny, Director General of the king’s buildings, works were carried out to flatten it out. It became circular in 1777.
The avenues were built under the Second Empire. The plaza was redesigned by the architect Jacques Hittorff, under the direction of Baron Haussmann, the author of the greatest transformations ever to take place in the capital.
The space around the Arc is filled with townhouses whose gardens are turned towards the star. Back then, Parisians named them hôtels des Maréchaux, in correlation with the name of the surrounding avenues.
Place Charles de Gaulle/Etoile
75008, 75017, 75016 Paris
Metro : Charles de Gaulle Etoile