Champs-Élysées

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a street in Paris, France. With its cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees, the Champs-Élysées is arguably one of the world’s most famous streets, and is one of the most expensive strips of real estate in the world. Several French monuments are also on the street, including the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. The name is French for Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed dead in Greek mythology. According to a much used description, the Champs-Élysées is la plus belle avenue du monde (“the most beautiful avenue in the world”).

The avenue runs for 1.91 km (1.18 mi) through the 8th arrondissement in northwestern Paris, from the Place de la Concorde in the east, with the Obelisk of Luxor, to the Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly the Place de l’Étoile) in the west, location of the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs-Élysées forms part of the Axe historique. One of the principal tourist destinations in Paris, the lower part of the Champs-Élysées is bordered by greenery (Carré Marigny) and by buildings such as the Théâtre Marigny and the Grand Palais (containing the Palais de la Découverte). The Élysée Palace is slightly to the north, but not on the avenue itself. Further to the west, the avenue is lined with cinemas, cafés and restaurants, and luxury specialty shops. The Champs-Élysées ends at the Arc de Triomphe, built to honour the victories of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Events

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. Every year during Advent, Christmastide, and Epiphany, the ‘Champs-Élysées’ Committee contribute for the Holidays seasons lighting of the Champs-Élysées. This generally occurs from late November until early January. The 2007 lighting of the Champs-Élysées was very successful, with lighting tubes which acted like snow falling from the trees. Since 1975, the last stage of the Tour de France has finished on the Champs-Élysées, with riders typically making six to eight circuits back and forth on the avenue, with a furious final sprint. The subsequent awards ceremony also takes place directly on the Avenue.

Transport

Paris Métro Line 1 runs under the Champs-Élysées. Station Charles de Gaulle – Étoile is at the street’s west end, and there are three stations with entrances on the street itself; from west to east these are: George V by the Hôtel George-V, Franklin D. Roosevelt at the rond-point des Champs-Élysées, Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau at place Clemenceau and Concorde (Paris Métro) at the southern end of the avenue, where the Place de la Concorde is located.

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