The Champs Elysees is not only a French center, but a world center for entertainment and sightseeing. The Champs is a broad avenue that stretches for 2 kilometers in an East-West direction through Paris’s 8th Arrondissement. At either end of the Champs are plazas: on the eastern end, the Place de la Concorde, and on the western end, the Place de l’Etoile. This short stretch between plazas is the center of much French and tourist activity, and has been the location of many important events throughout history.
According to the A View on Cities website, the location of the Champs was originally nothing more than “fields outside the center of Paris.” However, in 1616 Marie de Medicis gave orders for a tree-lined path to be laid out that would stretch eastward from her Palais des Tuileries (A View on Cities). The site goes on to explain that in 1667, the strip was redesigned by Andrew Le Notre, and the pathway gained the name “Grande Alle de Roule” or “Grand Cours.” It was not until 1694 that the path was renamed “Champs-Elysees,” or “Elysian Fields” in English. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the avenue was to develop its current form; in 1724 the avenue was extended to meet the Place de la Concorde, and street lamps and sidewalks were installed (A View on Cities). A few more changes were made to the Champs in the 1990s, when designer Bernard Huet decided to convert the side lanes into pedestrian zones, which means that “cars now only occupy half the width of this grand avenue” (A View on Cities). Today, the Champs is a host to numerous entertainment and nightlife events, and the avenue is one of the most famous streets in the world for shopping, eating, and tourism.
On the eastern end of the Champs is the Place de la Concorde, which, according to the Paris Pages, is the largest place in Paris and separates the Tuilerie gardens from the Champs Elysees. The Place de la Concorde was constructed from 1754 to 1763 and was designed by Louis XV’s...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document