MAY 18,2017 - MAY 18,2017 (1 DAYS)
Part 1: Palais de L'Élysée, Place de la Concorde, Place Clemenceau, Le Petit Palais, Le Grand Palais, Cours-la-Reine, Pont Alexandre III.
Part 2: Avenue Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Monte Carlo Restaurant, Hôtel Raphael, Place des États-Unis, Musee Baccarat, Église Saint-Pierre-de-Chaillot, Four Seasons Hotel, Avenue Montaigne, Place de la Reine Astrid, Flamme de la Liberté, Pont de L'Alma, Cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité, Musee du Quai Branly.
Duration: 1 day. Distance: 9-10 km. Weather: Any weather.
Part 1: from Palais de L'Élysée to Pont Alexandre III.
Part 2: from Pont Alexandre III to Musee du Quai Branly.
Start: Miromesnil Metro station (Line 9). Note: if you want to skip the Élysée Palace - start at Place de la Concorde Metro station (lines 1, 8 and 12). End: Metro station Alma-Marceau, line 9.
Introduction: On this tour you we will explore, mainly, the 8th arrondissement of the French capital on the right bank, one of its busiest and chic neighborhoods, thanks to the presence of Place de la Concorde, rue Royale, Palais de L'Élysée, Avenue des Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Petit Palais (small palace) and Grand Palais (Great Palace). The second part concetrates on the area south to the Arc de Triomphe and we, even, cross the Seine to finish at the left bank. Take this walk and see some of Paris's most prominent attractions.
Our itinerary: We walk 400 m. from Miromesnil Metro station to Palais de L'Élysée. From the Miromesnil Metro station take the exit Rue la Boétie. Head south on Rue de Miromesnil toward Rue de Penthièvre. Turn left onto Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré to see the Élysée Palace on the right. Palais de L'Élysée, 55 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré is more a symbol than a touristic attraction. Unfortunately, nowadays it is almost impossible for ordinary folk to get into the palace, but it is still worth the while to view it from the outside. So, whenever in Paris, make sure to walk by. The Elysée Palace can be visited only once a year during the “Journées Européennes du Patrimoine” (European Heritage Days), every mid-September. The garden is open to public the last Sunday of every month. Anyway, you can enjoy the stroll along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, a long shopping street, with international luxurious brands. This street is one of the most prominent streets in Paris, lined with 18th and 19th century buildings. This district might be one of the wealthiest of Paris.
Between 1718 and 1722, a “hôtel particulier” was constructed by the architect Armand-Claude Mollet on the initiative of the Count of Evreux. It changes its owner on many occasions. In 1753, Madame de Pompadour became the owner of the mansion. According to her will, the building was eventually passed on to King Louis XV, and had changed hands several times before in 1786 was taken over by the Duchesse de Bourbon-Condé, who renamed it Elysées-Bourbon. It will then be the successive home of notables and members of the court before the Revolution. Paris was a small town surrounded by fields and villages. The mansion received some modifications, mainly inside the house. It was here that Napoleon Bonarparte masterminded his coup of the 2nd of December 1851. The structure, as we know it, is from 1853, under Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, when the architect Joseph-Eugène Lacroix renovated the building. Now, and since 1871 during the Third Republic, the Elysée Palace became the official presidential residence and office with an exception, during the Second World War, when the building was closed and empty. Then, the first president who came back was Vincent Auriol in 1947. The famous first president of the Fifth Republic, Général de Gaulle, worked there during ten years, from 1959 to 1969. But he couldn’t bear the lack of privacy. So the Hôtel de Marigny was bought during his presidential term to accommodate foreign state officials on visit to France. The Elysee Palace is located in the eighth arrondissement of Paris, a few blocks from the Champs Elysees and the Place de la Concorde. It is a fine example of classical French architecture. The Palais de l'Elysée has 365 rooms, ceremonial rooms on the ground floor of the main building, where visitors are welcomed, the golden salon, the President's office, on the first floor, as well as the offices of his collaborators. reception rooms. The presidential office, located in the Gold Saloon, has changed very little since 1861; the terrestrial globe, a significant part of the interior, was brought in by Charles de Gaulle. The attic is converted into an apartment. It is in the east wing that are the apartments where the presidential couple live, when they choose to live at the Elysee. Today, the French Government holds regular meetings at the palace. In the underground section there is a room with a red button, by pushing which the President of France can activate the country's nuclear arsenal. Also in this room are the large screens and equipment for direct communication between the Commander-In-Chief (the President), the Minister of Defence and the leadership of the strategic air force. The palace is surrounded by a park with one of the plane trees is forty meters high.
It is a 900 m. walk from the Palais de L'Élysée to Place de la Concorde - mainly, along the elegant Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Head southeast on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré toward Rue de Duras, 550 m. It is one of the most luxurious and fashionable streets in the world thanks to the presence of virtually every major global fashion house or brand and numerous art galleries. Note the Embassy of the United Kingdom, 35, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. It had been the Hôtel de Charost since 1814. Turn right onto Rue Royale, 210 m. On your right - Galerie Royale with very prestigious jewelers:
Try NOT to miss the interiors of the Maxim restaurant at 3 rue Royale. The restaurant is an Art Nouveau gem, with original murals, oil paintings, stained glass, ornate carvings and architectural details from the Belle Epoch period. The museum upstairs, furnished from the personal collection of the restaurant’s owner, Pierre Cardin, holds more than 550 works from the Belle Epoch:
Turn right onto Place de la Concorde, 70 m. The Place de la Concorde is one of the major public squares in Paris. It is the largest square in the French capital. It is located in the city's 8th arrondissement, at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées. The Place was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1755 as a moat-skirted octagon between the Champs-Élysées to the west and the Tuileries Garden to the east. Decorated with statues and fountains, the area was named Place Louis XV to honor the king at that time. The square showcased an equestrian statue of the king, which was torn down during the French Revolution and the area renamed "Place de la Révolution". The new revolutionary government erected the guillotine in the square, and the first notable to be executed at the Place de la Révolution was king Louis XVI, on January 21, 1793. Other important figures guillotined on the site, often in front of cheering crowds, were Queen Marie Antoinette, Princess Élisabeth of France, Charlotte Corday, Madame du Barry, Georges Danton, Camille Desmoulins, Antoine Lavoisier, Maximilien Robespierre, Louis de Saint-Just and Olympe de Gouge. The guillotine was most active during the "Reign of Terror", in the summer of 1794, when in a single month more than 1,300 people were executed. A year later, when the revolution was taking a more moderate course, the guillotine was removed from the square. The square lies between Jardine de Luxembourg and Champs Elysees. The square is a very busy place with, lots of buses/cars driving by. Maybe, the most noisy site in Paris. There is not much here to do, except to stop for a photo op. The fountains flank two sides of a 230-metre high Egyptian obelisk. The latter was gifted to France from Egypt. It was, originally, standing at the entrance of Luxor Temple, in Egypt. The Construction of the two immensely beautiful fountains was completed in 1840. The whole close area is quite polluted and crossing it can be a challenge to your safety.
From Place de la Concorde to L'Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile - it is a 2.3 km walk from east to west. The lion's share of this walk is along Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Champs-Élysées extends along 1.9 kilometres (1.2 mi). It is a wide avenue (70 metres), running between Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle((formerly the Place de l'Étoile), where the Arc de Triomphe is located- built to honour the victories of Napoleon Bonaparte. Every year on Bastille Day on 14 July, the largest military parade in Europe passes down the Champs-Élysées, reviewed by the President of the Republic. The avenue is known for its theatres, cafés, and luxury shops, for the annual Bastille Day military parade, and as the finish of the Tour de France cycle race. The name is French for the Elysian Fields, the paradise for dead heroes in Greek mythology.
Our first stop will be Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau Metro station at Place Clemenceau and Concorde at the southern end of the avenue,quite close to where Place de la Concorde is located. It is a 750 m. walk along Champs-Élysées until we see Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau Metro station and Place Clemenceau on our left with the statues of THREE world leaders involved in the two world wars: Georges Clemenceau, Charles de Gaulle and Winston Churchill. Place Clemenceau is served by Line 1 and Line 13 of the Paris Métro and by bus lines: 42 and 73. By the way, if you take the Avenue de Marigny from Place Clemenceau to the north - you arrive (550 m. walk) to the Élysée Palace. The square pays tribute to Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929), a French politician and President of the republic.
The Statue of General de Gaulle is a work of the sculptor Jean Cardot , installed in 2000:
Another work of this sculptor is just a few steps away, practically, along avenue Winston Churchill and represents Winston Churchill:
Statue of George Clemenceau, by François Cogné, in front of the the Petit Palais faceing the Avenue des Champs-Élysées:
With our face to the north-west - we shall divert from the Champs-Élysées to the left (south) to Avenue Winston Churchill - where the Petit Palais is on our left (EAST) and the Grand Palais is on our right (WEST). Avenue Winston Churchill starts, in the north, with Place Clemenceau and ends, in the south, with the statue of Winston Churchill.
Le Petit Palais - historical perspectives of French art from 1800-1910. It houses the Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris. Originally built for the 1900 World's Fair. This beautiful little building is full of great architecture, paintings, art and the like. The Palais has a variety of paintings, sculptures, and other artwork including works from Monet and Renoir. The building alone is worth the visit - it is absolutely stunning !
The entrance to the Petit Palais itself is very much impressive with fantastic medieval architectural carvings and paintings. The whole interior space is also impressive with a large painted domed ceiling, stunning wrought iron staircases and beautiful guard rails along the winding staircases:
The permanent collection is varied, due to its origins in different collectors' donations. Starting with Greek and Roman ceramics, ancient and medieval collections, Italian Renaissance, continuing to 17th century Dutch painting and then a large number of 19th French 'realistic' works. are displayed alongside works from the French and Italian Renaissance and Flemish and Dutch paintings. You'll find, inside, an outstanding paintings of Delacroix, Monet, Sisley, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Courbet and a few other impressionist works. Magnificent museum !
Ground floor - Alfred Roll (1846-1919) - Portrait of Jane Hading, 1890:
Room 3 - Leon lhermitte - Les Halles - 1895:
Room 3 - Fernand Pelez - Sans asile - 1883:
Room 4 - Jacob Voet - Woman Portrait:
Room 4 - Louis-Robert Carrier-Belleuse - Porteurs de farine, scène parisienne - 1885:
Room 5 - Gustave Courbet - Le Sommeil - 1866:
Room 6 - Jean-Paul Aubé (1837 - 1916), Dante, 1879:
Room 7 - Paul Delaroche - Conquerors of the Bastille - between 1830 and 1838:
Room 11 - French Art - King Louis XV period:
Room 12 - French Art - King Louis XVI period:
In the middle of the Palais is a beautiful outside garden with pretty mosaic stonework. The garden is a nice area of tranquility. BUT, admission charge for the temporary exhibitions. It is an impressive and worthwhile museum to see and not with so many people inside. Tight security measures. Nice cafe and restaurant. The cafe / restaurant has surprising excellent food and is a nice respite when you're ready for a break. The open air courtyard is also very nice and a great place to sit just to have a rest. Free toilets. One of Paris' only FREE museums. Allow two hours for the visit. Permanent collections : free. Temporary exhibitions: Full price : €10 to €11, reduced price : €7 to €8. Opening hours: 10.00 to 18.00. Closed - Mondays.
Restaurant in the Garden:
Room 39 - Joseph-Marius Avy - Ball Blanc (The White Ball):
Underground Floor (RC in the elevator):
Sculpture of Jean Carriès (1855-1894) in the Underground Floor:
La Mère et l'enfant (1898) by Paul Troubetzkoy (1866-1928):
The Grand Palais ("Big Palace") is a large glass exhibition hall that was built for the Paris Exhibition of 1900. Built at the same time as the Petit Palais and the Pont Alexandre III, four architects were involved: the main facade was the work of Henri Deglane, the opposite side the work of Albert-Félix-Théophile Thomas, the interior and the other two ends given to Albert Louvet, with the entire job supervised by Charles Girault. The building facade is a prototypical example of Beaux-Arts architecture, and the main roof is an expanse of steel and glass. All of the exterior of this massive palace combines an imposing Classical stone façade with a riot of Art Nouveau ironwork, and a number of allegorical statue groups including work by sculptors Paul Gasq and Alfred Boucher. It is recognizable by its large glass dome flanked by the French flag. The Grand Palais is currently the largest existing ironwork and glass structure in the world. Two monumental bronze quadrigas by Georges Récipon terminate each wing of the main facade. The exterior is made of stone and features beautiful colored mosaics and intricately sculpted statues. Operation hours: Monday, Wednesday - Sunday: 10.00 - 20.00. It comprises of THREE major parts or sites: the Nave, the National Galleries and the Palais de la Découverte. The majestic nave, 240 m long, welcomes a wide variety of major national and international events: (horse riding, contemporary art). The national galleries organize large-scale exhibitions of artists that have marked the history of art (Picasso, Hopper, Renoir, etc.). The Palais de la Découverte is a museum and cultural centre is dedicated to science, where children can learn whilst having fun, through permanent collections and temporary exhibtions. A 3-in-1 site that's not to be missed. VISITOR ENTRANCES: Grand Palais Nave and South East Gallery - from Winston Churchill Entrance, avenue Winston Churchill; National Galleries - from Clémenceau Entrance, place Clémenceau or Square Jean Perrin, Champs-Elysées, avenue du Général Eisenhower; Salon d'Honneur - from Square Jean Perrin. Opening hours and Prices: Each exhibition has its own schedules and prices, discover them by clicking on the exhibition of your choice: https://www.grandpalais.fr/en/individual-tickets-0
Alexandre III Rotunda. Restored in 2010. It provides access mainly to the MiniPalais restaurant in the Grand Palais (through impressive bronze door) and to the Grand Palais cinema, as well as leading directly to its Nave:
As we said before, Avenue Winston Churchill ends, in the south, with the statue of Winston Churchill. If you continue a bit southward - you cross the promenade of Cours-la-Reine. It is one of the oldest parks in Paris, created in 1616 by Queen Marie de Medicis. The promenade continues to the west as the It is one of the oldest parks in Paris, created in 1616 by Queen Marie de Medicis. Queen Marie de Medicis, nostalgic for the gardens of her native Florence, created the Cours-la-Reine not long after she began making the Luxembourg Garden (1612-1630). The Queen built ornamental gates at either end of the kilometer and a half long garden and planted four rows of elm trees, with a wide lane in the middle. It became a popular meeting place for the nobility, where young aristocrats looked for husbands and wives of equal rank. The garden was rebuilt in 1723, and the banks of the river were walled in 1769. Along with the Avenue des Champs-Élysėes, it formed one of the paths radiating out of the Place de la Concorde, like the three alleys radiating from the Palace of Versailles. This promenade continues further to the west as Cours Albert Premier and it connects Place du Canada to Place d'Alma. Both of the parks are planted with long rows of chestnut trees. Both contain several statues. One of King Albert I (Cours Albert Premier) on horseback by Armand Matial (1938) and another of Simon Bolivar (Cours-la-Reine) (see below), as well as one by Antoine Bourdelle of the Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz (Cours Albert Premier), who was exiled to Paris, and finally an equestrian statue of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette by Paul Wayland Bartlett (1908) (cours la Reine).
The bronze equestrian statue of the famous fighter and liberator, Simon Bolivar, (1783-1832) stands on the Cours la Reine. This statue is the fourth copy of that commissioned by the city of Bogota in Colombia to the French sculptor Emmanuel Frémiet in 1930. It was donated by the Republics of Latin America for the centenary of the death of Simon Bolivar. The statue represents General Bolivar in ceremonial costume holding a sword and riding a horse at a standstill.
Monument to Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, a general in the American Revolutionary in Cour-la-Reine:
We cross Cours-la-reine from north to south to arrive to the river Seine and Pont Alexandre III (Alexandre the 3rd Bridge). The bridge is widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in Paris - one of the most beautiful river crossings in the world. The bridge connects Les Invalides, the site of Napoleon’s tomb (and Quai d'Orsay), on the Left Bank with the Champs-Élysées on the Right Bank. It was built for the Exposition Universelle of 1900, an international world’s fair that introduced talking films, escalators, Russian nesting dolls, wireless telegraphy (radio), and the most powerful telescope ever built. Rudolf Diesel exhibited his new combustion engine which ran only on peanut oil, and the city of Paris had staged the first Olympic Games outside of Greece. The fair introduced the Art Nouveau style into popular culture and for the first time electric lights illuminated the City of Lights. We cross the Seine over the Alexandre III bridge from north to south - and back, from south to north. It is a special experience to walk on this bridge - especially, in a bright day. It is the ideal spot for wedding photographs. You can have unrivalled views of the Eiffel Tower. Crossing the bridge on foot might be regarded as Paris’ premiere open-air museum. An array of masterful sculptures: lions, cherubs, nymphs, maidens, cupids, water spirits, fish, scalloped seashells, and sea monsters. The gorgeous Art- Nouveau lamps contribute their decorative role as well:
We return from Pont Alexandre III to the Champs-Élysées. We can do that via Avenue Winston Churchil (the way we did from north to south) - but, we change our route and return via Avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt. SKIP TO TIP 2 below:
Part 2: from Pont Alexandre III to Musee du Quai Branly.
Main Attractions: Avenue Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Monte Carlo Restaurant, Hôtel Raphael, Place des États-Unis, Musee Baccarat, Église Saint-Pierre-de-Chaillot, Four Seasons Hotel, Avenue Montaigne, Place de la Reine Astrid, Flamme de la Liberté, Pont de L'Alma, Cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité, Musee du Quai Branly.
We return from Pont Alexandre III nortward to Champs-Élysées. The north edge of Pont Alexandre III is called - Port des Champs-Élysées. With your face to the north - head left (west ) on Port des Champs-Élysées toward Pont Alexandre III, 230 m. Turn right onto Pont des Invalides, 30 m. Continue onto Place du Canada, 35 m. Note the Monument du Corps Expéditionnaire Russe. Continue onto Avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 400 m. Here, about halfway along the avenue's length, is the roundabout Champs-Élysées-Marcel-Dassault. Turn LEFT (west) onto Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées Marcel-Dassault, 130 m. We stick to walk along Avenue Champs-Élysées. It is 1.2 km walk to Place Charles de Gaulle:
We stopped at Citroen Showroom at 42 avenue des Champs Elysees:
We made this tedious walk along Champs-Elysees. Probably, the most famous street in Paris. This wide, tree-lined avenue is home to the city's chic restaurants, shops and boutiques. The shops are mainly high end shops. There is a line to get into some stores, like Louis Vuitton, because they search you with a wand and look in your purse and backpack before you can enter...it takes something away from the splendor of shopping on the Champs-Elysee when you are searched for weapons upon entry to a store. Champs-Elysees starts, in the south-east, with the Seine river and ends, in the north-west side with the Arc de Triomphe. It's a beautiful road to just walk up and down for hours. The food is expensive here as are the designer shops but it is a great place to walk and window shop. It is also a dangerous place: don't even think about running across the road NOT through cross-lights (although, we got a photo standing in the middle of the street with the Arc de Triomph in front of us...). The Parisians are notorious for their fast driving so be careful when attempting to navigate the wide avenue and the roads around. The avenue is pedestrians-only, closed to traffic on the first Sunday of the month (from 9.00 to 21.00) and the avenue gets its really new, cool vibe (you can walk in the middle of the avenue...). For the rest of the month - It is very crowded and quite noisy.
The Arc de Triomphe is an amazing architechtural masterpiece celebrating the victories of France.
The Arc de Triomphe is beautiful at night when it is lit up. If you go at night be sure to check the sunset time as well. You can see the Eiffel Tower from the distance lit up a little before 22.00 in the summer. It cost €12 for a ticket to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. You can stay there for as long as you want. Take the elevator OR climb up with 284 steps up a narrow spiral staircase. There are toilets at first level. It provides one of the nicest views of Paris. The Arc is always busy, so you will have to wait to use one of the restrooms. You have a 360 degrees view of the city. Excellent photo op and watching the cars criss-crossing on the roundabout below is certainly entertaining. Amazing sight with all streets connecting to the roundabout of the Arc. From the top one can see twelve avenues of Paris joining Arc de Triomphe. We do advise you to snap a picture from across the street to get a full view of the Arch and then take the stairs to go through the underground tunnel to get to the middle of the roundabout where the arch stands. It is impressive to see the art of the statues up close and take a moment to think about the sacrifices of the soldiers it honours. the Arc is covered with tremendous sculpture and historic plaques commemorating French military history. The eternal flame to the unknown soldier is ceremoniously re-lit everyday. The Arch is far larger than you realize until you walk up under it. On a clear day, the sheer dimensions of the Arc can take your breath away. That's the L'etoile. The road around the monument is quite busy making getting to the center of the roundabout a dangerous chore. The tunnel under the traffic circle is easy to find and worth going over to stand under the Arc to get a closer look at the carvings. We advice you to purchase online tickets for the arch tickets in advance - to save time and not waste it in the (sometimes, huge) queue line. Skip the line with the Paris pass as well. Open: everyday: 10.00 - 22.30/23.00. Closed: 1 January, 1 May, 8 May (morning), 14 July, 11 November (morning) and 25 December. PRICES: FULL PRICE - 12€, REDUCED PRICE - young people (18-25 yo) from non-EU country and foreign teachers - 9€. FREE - young people (18-25 yo) from EU countries. Public transportation: By Metro: lines 1, 2 and 6, stop Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile, RER - line A, stop Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile. By bus: lines 22, 30, 31, 52, 73, 92. It was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to celebrate his victory at Austerlitz. The architects Chalgrin, Joust and Blouet all worked on the monument. Sculptures were designed by Cortot, Rude, Etex, Pradier and Lemaire. Beneath the arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and each evening at 18.30 its flame is relighted. A museum retracing the history of the Arc de Triomphe, situated within the Arch, completes the visit:
In case you are hungry - walk the surrounding streets and you'll find better shopping areas and better local restaurants a few blocks away which are better priced and full of locals. We walked 260 m. to one of the radiating roads that originate from Place Charles de Gaulle. We recommend heading to a wonderful restaurant Monte Carlo Restaurant in 9 Avenue de Wagram. Return SOUTHWARD to Champs-Elysees with your face to the Arc de Triomphe. Look for the intersectin of Champs-Elysees and rue de Presburg (on your left, west) and rue de Tilsitt (on your right, east). Turn right onto Rue de Tilsitt, 260 m. Turn right onto Avenue de Wagram, 20 m and Restaurant Monte Carlo, 9 Avenue de Wagram is on your left (north). This is the perfect, budget, dining site for your pocket, mouth, eyes and comfort. A self-service restaurant, with huge selection of portions, variety of foods, reasonably-priced, plenty of space, comfortable seats, friendly and polite service. Quality of food - average to good. The place is nice, spacious enough, so you can stay as long as you wish. Main dish, two side dishes with half bottle of wine for 13 euros/person. No table service just self-service pick up.
The restaurant and Avenue de Wagram radiate to the NORTH side of Place Charles de Gaulle (L'etoile). We shall walk, now, around Arc de Triomphe - heading to its western side. We intend to get another gorgeous view over Paris from a splendid retro-styled hotel in Avenue Kléber. From Restaurant Monte Carlo, 9 Avenue de Wagram we head southwest on Avenue de Wagram BACK toward Rue de Tilsitt (the ring road), 70 m. Cross 6 radiating roads (from Mc-Mahon until Victor Hugo). Turn right toward Avenue Kléber, 170 m. Take the crosswalk, 190 m. Turn right onto Avenue Kléber, 150 m. The Kléber Metro station is on your right. Turn left to stay on Avenue Kléber, 30 and Hôtel Raphael, 17 Avenue Kléber is on your left. An upsacel hote and not for our pocket.
BUT, its roof top lounge is a terrific attraction and it offers a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower at night or afternoon. They charge pocket-breaking prices for the drinks in the restaurant. A polite, gentle and quiet request for entry permission - will allow you a FREE entry to its top floor terrace. This hotel is urgently looking for world reputation. This is one of their ways to gain popularity and reputation. The doorman was very generous and welcoming - the hotel gained publicity and we gained a wonderful place for bird-eye sights of Paris. Take the elevator/lift to floor no. 7. The views from the terrace might be even sensational, especially at sunset when the lights of the Eiffel Tower start to twinkle (at 22.00):
From Hôtel Raphael, 17 Avenue Kléber we head southwest on Avenue Kléber toward Avenue des Portugais, 300 m. Turn left onto Rue de Belloy, 100 m. Turn right onto Place des États-Unis, 50 m. Place des États-Unis or the United States Plaza is situated about half kilometer south of Place de l’Etoile and the Arc de Triomphe. It consists of a nicely-landscaped plaza and a beautiful park lined with trees. The square is also lined with impressive mansions. The park is officially named Square Thomas Jefferson and the buildings facing it all have Place-des-États-Unis addresses. Many streets join together at this place. On 13 May 1885, a bronze model of the Statue of Liberty was put up here in front of the American diplomatic mission. The model was used as a fund-raising tool to collect money for the construction of a full-sized statue and its transportation across the Atlantic to the United States. It stood in the middle of the square until 1888. A monument to American dentist Horace Wells, inventor of anaesthesia, also stands here. On 4 July 1923, the President of the French Council of State, Raymond Poincare, dedicated a monument in Place des États-Unis to the Americans who volunteered to fight in World War I on the side of France. Many statues have been erected in the square to commemorate famous personalities over the years. It is an interesting site to visit and see these monuments, much as to have a bit of a break from the city noise:
Memorial to American Volunteers, Place des États-Unis. The Memorial to the American Volunteers was dedicated on July 4, 1923 to the Americans who volunteered to fight in the service of France during World War I - and created by Jean Boucher:
Statue of General George Washington and Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, comrades-in-arms during the American Revolutionary War in Place des États-Unis:
Horace Wells, an American dentist, was a pioneer in the use of anesthesia:
Between the southern side of Place des Etats-Unis and Rue de l'Amiral d'Estaing resides the Musee Baccarat. A SMALL, private museum of crystal in Paris. It houses the most valuable collection of Baccarat crystal, featuring pieces produced for world fairs, 19th century universal exhibitions and international celebrities. The museum sits in a prestigious house, once the home of art patron, Marie-Laure, who held marvelous parties here attended by renowned artists, the likes of Man Ray, Cocteau and Dali. The collection presented here contains fine glass-works, vases, dishes, limited-edition collections created by famous designers, and pieces custom-made for heads of state (e.g. Napoleon), royals and celebrities. The collection of crystal impressively complements the interior, decorated by trend-setting designer Philippe Starck, grand with a crystal chandelier sunk in an aquarium of water, a two meter high glass chair, and many other monumental pieces. The display reveals technical and stylistic achievements that have earned Baccarat its reputation and numerous gold medals and other prizes at international shows. Also on the premises is the famous chic restaurant, called the Baccarat Cristal Room, and a shrine for renowned crystal makers. The Musée Baccarat is one of Paris's, literally, most glittering experiences. No visit to the city is complete without seeing this place! Operation hours: Monday, Wednesday - Saturday: 10.00 - 18.00. Prices: Full price: €10 , reduced rate: €7 (students under 25), FREE - youngsters < 18:
Head southeast on Place des États-Unis toward Rue de Lübeck, 120 m. Turn right onto Avenue d'Iéna - flat cobbled-stoned road), 35 m. Turn left (walk east) onto Rue Freycinet, 150 m. Turn left onto Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 200 m. Turn left onto Avenue Marceau, 40 m. The whole area is impressive with large mansions and several embassies. You see the black Église Saint-Pierre-de-Chaillot, 31 Avenue Marceau - on your right. We are in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. The parish church stands almost at the corner with rue de Chaillot. Outside, in front, you can admire all the sculptures and bas-reliefs of the impressive tympanum. The parish of Saint-Pierre de Chaillot dates back to the 11th century. The historic church of the parish was entered from rue de Chaillot, with only a chapel with a brick facade opening onto avenue Marceau. That church hosted the funerals of Guy de Maupassant on 8 July 1893 and of Marcel Proust on 21 November 1922, but all that now survives of it is a statue of the Virgin Mary, the 'Vierge de Chaillot'. The present building (architect:Emile Bois) was completed in 1938. Musical organs festival "Chaillot-Grandes Orgues", takes place in the church every two years:
We retrace our steps for 40 m. Head BACK south on Avenue Marceau toward Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 40 m. Turn left onto Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 160 m. Turn left onto Avenue George V, 60 m. You see Four Seasons Hotel George V, 31 Avenue George V on your left and Pershing Hall Hotel on your right:
George V hotel or the Four Seasons Hotel is a rare quality (and price) hotel. It is considered one of the most prestigious hotels in Paris and even one of the most luxurious in the world. A majestic hotel that keeps its standards and reputation, mainly, for monarchs, prime ministers and tycoons. A legendary institute. Presently, the ownership is shared by: Prince Al-Walid Ben Talal's investment company ben Abdelaziz Al Saoud of Saudi Arabia to 45%, Bill Gates at 45% and the founder Isador Sharp at 10%. In 2017, the Saudi billionaire prince Al-Walid Ben Talal, owner of the hotel, is detained in Saudi Arabia in a gilded prison (five-star Saudi hotel) for corruption. The opulent period interiors are breath-taking, with spectacular art works, crystal chandeliers, 17th-century Flanders tapestries and wildly extravagant flower displays:
From the Four Seasons Hotel, 31 Avenue George V head south on Avenue George V toward Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 60 m. Turn left onto Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 10m. Turn right onto Avenue George V, 100 m. Turn left onto Rue du Boccador, 280 m and turn left onto Avenue Montaigne. It’s a very pretty street with most of the worldwide chains of high end fashion (Dior, Chanel, Gucci, Armani, Ralph Lauren - to mention few) represented here. THE SHOPPING STREET FOR BILLIONAIRES like you and us. We walk along Avenue Montaigne TWICE: from west to east on its left (north) side and BACK - from east to west on its southern side:
At 30 Avenue Montaigne - wee see the Dior showroom:
#20 Avenue Montaigne - Louis Vitton:
Escada - Vêtements femme, 2 avenue Montaigne:
Raise your head and eayes and catch the sight of the building in #2 avenue Montaigne):
In case you followed our recommendations and instructions - you finalized your exploration of Avenue Montaigne in its most western end. Turn left (SOUTH) onto Place de la Reine Astrid, 20 m. Queen Astrid was a famous Belgian queen (1905-1935), wife of King Leopold III (Sweden was her native country) who, tragically, died in a car accident at the age of 29 in 1935 in Switzerland. A few meters away in 1997, in the tunnel of the Alma Bridge, the Princess of Wales lost her life in 1997 (see below):
The Monument to the recognition of Belgium to France by Rudder, inaugurated in 1923, is on the east side of the square:
We continue walking south and cross Cours Albert 1er - where the Flamme de la Liberté is on our right (west): gold-leafed torch & unofficial British Princess Diana memorial, built to commemorate American-French friendship. It is a replica of the flame at the upper end of the torch carried in the hand of the Statue of Liberty at the entrance to the harbor of New York City since 1886. It was offered to the city of Paris in 1989 by the International Newspaper Herald Tribune - after celebrating its hundredth anniversary of publishing an English-language daily newspaper in Paris. Moreover, it was a token of thanks for the restoration work on the Statue of Liberty accomplished three years earlier by two French businesses that did artisanal work on the project: namely, Métalliers Champenois, which did the bronze work, and the Gohard Studios, which applied the gold leaf. The Flame of Liberty is a lasting symbol of the friendship uniting the two countries, just as the statue itself was, when it was given to the United States by France in the 19th century:
This monument became a spontaneous Memorial to Princess Diana. The Flame of Liberty became an unofficial memorial for Diana, Princess of Wales after her 1997 death in the tunnel beneath the Pont de l'Alma. The flame became an attraction for tourists and followers of Diana, who fly-posted the base with commemorative material. Three nations are, now, involved with this monument:
Continuing south we cross the river Seine over Pont de L'Alma. Pont de L'Alma - built in 1854 on the orders of Napoleon III. Pont de l’Alma became famous all over the world in August 1997 after the tragic death of Princess Diana. It leads from the reputed brasserie Chez Francis on Place de l’Alma, in the Right / north bank and the Musée du Quai Branly and Musée des Égouts (Sewer Museum)- on the Left / south Bank. The Pont de l’Alma is decorated with four large statues including the one of the Zouave (French soldier), which was used to measure the level of the Seine when it flooded (today the Pont de la Tournelle is used to gauge the water level). There is a spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower and Cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité from the bridge:
Before we turn right to Quay Branly - we see on our right the Cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité. The Holy Trinity Cathedral and The Russian Orthodox Spiritual and Cultural Center is a relatively new complex that consists of 4 buildings. It was built between 2013-2016 and opened March, 2016. Designed by the French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. Russian speakers from all over France financed this church through donations. The complex is stunning due to its two main attributes: by the golden domes set upon stark vertical concrete walls. You'll find here followers of the Russian Orthodox faith. Expect a special, moving experience thanks to the audience rituals and chanting:
Turn right (west) onto Quai Branly and walk 300 m. to Quai Branly Museum 37 Quai Branly. The Musee du quai Branly is easily recognizable because of its lush plant wall designed by the botanist Patrick Blanc - an attraction on its own. The outside wall on Quai Branly, north west to the museum, is an outstanding garden wall, top to bottom. Really a fascinating view at the heart of Paris with hundreds of different plants. But the wall is in pretty bad shape - and before the summer...:
Note: the main entrance is entrance is on Rue d'Université.
Another Note: the visit in this museum is very demanding and exhausting. Allow, at least, 2-3 hours for the visit in the museum and its park/gardens. Very much recommended museum. The museum building was designed by the famed architect Jean Nouvel. It is surrounded by wild, colorful grounds - a gorgeous, pleasant park to relax after the visit in the museum. The ETHNOGRAPHIC museum focuses on non-European (African, Asian, Oceanian) cultures. The permanent collection and temporary expositions at the Musée du quai Branly includes a huge collection of 700,000 photographs and 300,000 artefacts and objects – totems, masks, musical instruments, wood carvings, fabrics, clothing – from Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Americas across the centuries. The visit in the museum is quite challenging: huge array of artifacts, signage in French, DIM LIGHT, your route of walking inside is spiral (you ascend a long ramp and enter a wide, darkened hall with the exhibits brightly picked out by spotlights), the halls/rooms are NOT numbered, the park outside rivals the museum interiors (especially, in a bright day), no resting seats/benches. You are, easily, flooded by shapes, structures, colors - all of them totally not-in-sync with the western civilizations. You'll love this museum - ALSO, because it is NOT crowded. It's not one of the places that come instantly to mind when thinking about what to see in Paris, but we HIGHLY recommend it. Good restaurant with nice views - on the rooftop. A lovely lunch or brunch that might be an experience on its own. Opening hours: Tuesday – Wednesday – Sunday: 11.00 – 19.00, Thursday – Friday – Saturday: 11.00 – 21.00. Mondays: closed. Prices: adults: 9€. FREE: First Sunday of every month, youth (less than 18), EU Citizens ages 18 – 25. Free entry with the Paris Pass and Paris Museum Pass. Audio-guides: additional 5€ (!). Public Transportation: Metro: Alma-Marceau, line 9, RER: Pont de l´Alma, line C, Bus: lines 42, 63, 69, 72, 80, 82, 87 and 92:
To catch the metro: return to Alma-Marceau metro station in the northern side of Pont de L'Alama (600 m.) OR walk 1.1 km to Bir-Hakeim metro station (beyond Tour Eiffel). Head southwest on Quai Branly toward Avenue de la Bourdonnais, 850 m. Slight left to stay on Quai Branly, 170 m. Turn left onto Boulevard de Grenelle, 10 m. to arrive to Bir-Hakeim station.