Avenue des Champs-Elysées

Considered "the most beautiful avenue in the world", the Champs-Élysées extends for two kilometres between the Tuileries Garden and the Arc de Triomphe, and is 10 minutes on foot from the Hôtel Brighton.

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Etymologically, the Champs-Elysées corresponds to the part of the Underworld where the good souls went. Today the site is more associated with a paradise for the tourists who stroll along the avenue from Place de la Concorde as far as Place Charles de Gaulle.


A major Parisian avenue near the Hôtel Brighton 

Although the original Champs-Élysées was hard to access, it soon became a vital Parisian thoroughfare and the main avenue in the west of the capital. André Le Nôtre designed the perspective of the Champs in 1667, when he was commissioned to design the Tuileries Gardens. But it was only in about 1830 that the architect Jacques Hittorff made the site inhabitable. Gardens and gas lamps were set up all along the avenue. Today the Champs-Élysées is a major tourist landmark. A great many restaurants, such as Fouquet’s, luxury boutiques, but also night clubs like Le Lido adorn this famous avenue. Among the last surviving period buildings are the Ledoyen and Laurent restaurants, bearing witness to the Hittorf period. Another point worth remembering is that the Champs-Elysées leads to the Palais de la Découverte, the Grand and Petit Palais. And not to be missed are the annual highlights on the Champs, beginning with the Bastille Day parade on 14 July, the arrival of the Tour de France and the Christmas illuminations.

The Arc de Triomphe 

This arch stands at the centre of Place de l’Etoile, the starting point for 12 avenues, including the Champs-Elysées. From 1806 to 1836, the architect Jean-François Chalgrin built this monument, at the request of Napoleon, in honour of the Grande Armée and the victory at Austerlitz. Its dimensions are impressive: 50 metres high and 45 metres wide. One of the monument's best-known sculptures is without doubt La Marseillaise by Rude. The arch has become a symbol of national history. Since 11 November 1920 it has housed the tomb of the unknown soldier. Beneath the arch, a museum recounts the construction of the monument, while at the top is a panoramic view that is highly appreciated by tourists.

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