Paris is known worldwide for the numerous sights which submitted, and will continue to submit millions of tourists from different corners of our planet. The list of everything that is possible to please your eyes in this magnificent city is improbably huge, and this article, most likely, would be insufficient even for simple listing. Instead we will try to stop in more details on one of symbols of Paris, its, perhaps, the most well-known street – les Champs-Elysees.
Les Champs-Elysees begins from the Place de Concorde (Consent) and proceeds to another cult place of Paris – Arch Triomphe. The length of the street makes a little bit less than two kilometers, and the width – seventy meters. So it is a real avenue in the centre of ancient Paris, different by the unique charm.
And now let’s address to history of appearance of this well-known Parisian street, which, by and large, is enough young if to perceive it through the prism of age of Paris which is already older than two thousand years.
According to the historical documents, the first mentions of this place are dated sixteenth century. Then it represented marshland covered with wood where the French kings liked to hunt on game (it was close to their residence). And if for today les Champs-Elysees is the central part of the capital of France, during those far times it was some kind of suburbs, not related Paris.
As from monarchs’ side it would be absolutely silly not to use this territory close to magnificent gardens, in the beginning of the seventeenth century under the order of queen Maria Medici it have started to improve. And a certain mister André Le Nôtre – the court architect on landscapes of that time supervised this improvement. Thanks to his efforts there appeared three big elm avenues. A little bit later works on strengthening of road for journey of horse crews had been performed, and small gas horns on each side of the paved road were established. This moment is necessary to consider as a reference point in the history of street which we know today by the name les Champs-Elysees. The first buildings have started to appear here in the middle of the eighteenth century.
Eventually the shape of les Champs-Elysees varied. So, already during the second Empire magnificent private residences of rich Parisians (the most elite real estate in Paris) have been constructed in the street, sidewalks have received asphalt covering and bright illumination. In a word, the street became really beautiful and original. However, all this magnificence has been impaired a little in 1815 when Paris was occupied by armies of the states which have defeated Napoleon’s army. Foreign soldiers have chosen les Champs-Elysees a place of their arrangement which after their leaving was necessary to put in order for over one year. And since then the street has undergone many changes before it has got the modern shape.
Today les Champs-Elysees represent the main street of the French capital which is not only a place of real pilgrimage of millions of tourists, but also a place of carrying out of all significant holidays.
Walking this boulevard, it is possible to admire remarkable Parisian sights, among which the Horses of Marly (Chevaux de Marly) by Guillaume Coustou (group of remarkable sculptures), Les Ambassadeurs theatre, the well-known restaurant Pavillon Ledoyen, the Élysée Palace, Théâtre du Rond-Point, Cabaret Lido.
Besides, on les Champs-Elysees is one of the most famous streets in the world for upscale shopping with a set of boutiques of known brands, restaurants and exhibition halls.
The only possible disadvantage of this remarkable place is a considerable quantity of pickpockets wishing to “clean” the weakened tourists’ pockets.