Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Paris - the Avenue des Champ Elysees

Date: 15th April 2014

The very first day we were in Paris, Anne has left her camera at the apartment. I was talking to a French guy in the Metro when she asked me what to do. I said "NO WAY"and she shows her most sorrowful face, hoping I took pity on her. I have none to offer instead consoling her by offering my Iphone whilst assured her that I will take more beautiful photos of her. We were supposed to end our visit at Eiffel Tower to  see Trocadero, a night light show that day. We reschedule the program and concentrate on shopping instead. In the end, we did enjoy shopping in Champ Elysees and she forgotten about her camera by then.  My sister bought something at LV shop and I spent more than Eruro500 at Roger Federer special Nike outlet for beloved hubby. I guessed everybody were at least, very happy with the walk at the huge shopping boulevard. Important tips for ladies, focus only spending your wealth when you are here, care's nothing else but shop shop till drop. 

The main boulevard street, Champ Elysees

Apart from shopping, I personally fall deeply in love with a beautiful Gothic architectural design of the buildings in this boulevard, once part of the Palace courtyard. Hence, I'm sharing those beautiful sight that was captured by us that day in this entry. The Avenue des Champs-Elysees is a boulevard in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, 1.9 kilometres long and 70 metres wide, which runs between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. It is famous for its theatres, cafes and luxury shops, and for the military parade that takes place each year on the avenue on 14 July to celebrate Bastille Day. The name is French for Elysian Fields, the paradise for dead heroes in Greek mythology.

The lower part of the Champs-Elysees, from the Place de la Concorde to the Rond-Point, runs through the Jardin des Champs-Elysees is a park which contains the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Theatre Marigny, and several restaurants, gardens and monuments. We came out at this point when we get down from the metro. The Elysee Palace, the official residence of the Presidents of France, borders the park, but is not on the Avenue itself. Please take note that Pont Alexander III was somewhere in the corner of the presidential palace. The avenue ends at the Arc de Triomphe.

Posing inside LV boutique is forbidden, but this 1 is exceptionally matching her, so I pleaded the LV guy to allow this 1

Until the reign of Louis XIV, the land where the Champs Elysees runs today was largely occupied by fields and kitchen gardens. The Champs Elysees and its gardens were originally laid out in 1667 by Andre Le Notre as an extension of the Tuileries Garden, the gardens of the Tuileries Palace, which was built in 1564, and which Le Notre had rebuilt in his own formal style for Louis XIV in 1664. Le Notre planned a wide promenade between the palace and the modern Rond Point, lined with two rows of elm trees on either side, and flowerbeds in the symmetrical style of the French formal garden. The new boulevard was called the "Grand Cours", or "Grand Promenade". It did not take the name of Champs-Elysees until 1709.

In 1710 the avenue was extended beyond the Rond-Pont as far as the modern Place d'Etoile. In 1765 the garden was remade in the Le Notre style by Abel Francois Poisson, the marquis de Marigny, brother of the Madame de Pompadour and Director-General of the King's Buildings. Marigny extended the avenue again in 1774 as far as the modern Porte Maillot.

Beautiful souvenirs shop by the street offers various selection of items

A stop for coffee and croissant is a must when in Paris

By the late 18th century, the Champs-Elysees had become a fashionable avenue; the trees on either side had grown enough form formal rectangular groves. The gardens of the town houses of the nobility built along the Faubourg Saint-Honore backed onto the formal gardens. The grandest of the private mansions near the Avenue was the Elysee Palace, a private residence of the nobility which during the Third French Republic became the official residence of the Presidents of France. My sister was so happy for she was able to visit all her favorite brands boutique, Guerlains was 1 of them, along the boulevard. 

The Champs-Elysees became a city property in 1828, and footpaths, fountains, and, later, gas lighting were added, making it a City of Lights. In 1834, under King Louis Philippe, the architect Jacques Ignace Hittorff was commissioned to redesign the Place de la Concorde and the gardens of the Champs-Elysees. He kept the formal gardens and flowerbeds essentially intact, but turned the garden into a sort of outdoor amusement park, with a summer garden cafe, the Alcazar d'ete, 2 restaurants, the Ledoyen and the restaurant de l'Horloge; a theater, the Lacaze; the Panorama, built in 1839, where large historical paintings were displayed, and the cirque d'ete (1841), a large hall for popular theater, musical and circus performances. He also placed several ornamental fountains around the park, of which 3 are still in place.


In 1855 Emperor Napoleon III selected the park at the beginning of the avenue as the site of the first great international exposition to be held in Paris, the Exposition Universelle. The park was the location of the Palace of Industry, a giant exhibit hall which covered thirty thousand square meters, where the Grand Palais is today. In 1858, following the Exposition, the Emperor's prefect of the Seine, Georges-Eugene Haussmann, had the gardens transformed from a formal French garden into a picturesque English style garden, with groves of trees, flowerbeds and winding paths. The rows of elm trees, which were in poor health, were replaced by rows of chestnut trees.

The park served again as an exposition site during the Universal Exposition of 1900; it became the home of the Grand Palais and Petit Palais. It also became the home of a new panorama theater, designed by Gabriel Davioud, the chief architect of Napoleon III, in 1858. The modern theater Marigny was built by Charles Garnier, architect of the Paris Opera, in 1883. One of the stop that most Malaysian would make is at the Laduree shop. Laduree is most famous (to Malaysian) for it's macaroons which comes in various pastel colors and good taste. There's also an outlet at Charles de Gaule airport should 1 wishes to bring home for their love ones.

As we all know, Champs-Elysees is for the shopaholics boulevard. It begins in 1860, the merchants along the Avenue joined together to form a committee commercially to promote the Avenue, becoming the oldest standing committee in Paris. The committee has always dedicated itself to seeking public projects to enhance the Avenue's unique atmosphere, and to lobby the authorities for extended business hours and to organizing special events. Today, the committee, in coordination with other professional organisations, may review with the Parisian administration the addition to the Avenue of new businesses whose floor area would exceed 1000 square meters. Because of the high rents, few people live on the Champ Elysees; the upper stories tend to be occupied by offices. Rents are particularly high on the north side of the Avenue, because of better exposure to sunlight.

The Avenue is one of the most famous streets in the world for upscale shopping. Adidas, Benetton, the Disney Store, Nike, Zara, H&M, Cartier, Bel Air Fashion, Toyota, Gap, and Sephora occupy major spaces. Traditionally home to popular brands, as well as luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Lancel, Guerlain, Lacoste, Hotel de la Paiva, Elysee Palace and Fouquet's.

The arrival of global chain stores in recent years has strikingly changed its character, and in a first effort to stem these changes, the City of Paris (which has called this trend "banalisation") initially decided in 2007 to prohibit the Swedish clothing chain H&M from opening a store on the Avenue; however, a large H&M store opened two years later at 88 Champs-√Člysees. In 2008, American clothing chain Abercrombie & Fitch was given permission to open a store.

Source of info: Wikipedia

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