Paris and the Avenue!!!

This is another surprise, so much to see and tell you. I have passed by here several times as one of hq is on the Avenue de la Grande Armée near Porte Maillot in Paris. Yet do not recall writing about it in my blog… I finally found me a photo and remind me of this. Time to remedy and tell you all about this wonderful avenue of eternal Paris! Yes, worked on it, ate on it and walk, drove on it for several years. This is my take on the Avenue de la Grande Armée. Hope you enjoy the post as I did telling you.

Oh yes this is not THE avenue you thought but an equally impressive avenue that should be visited, walk on it. Hope you enjoy it

The Avenue de la Grande-Armée is the avenue that separates the 16éme and 17éme arrondissements or districts of Paris. It starts from place Charles-de-Gaulle or aka Place de l’Étoile, it arrives at Porte Maillot at the intersection of Avenue de Malakoff, boulevard Pereire and boulevard Gouvion-Saint-Cyr. Odd numbers are in the 16éme arrondissement , and even numbers are in the 17éme arrondissement. Its length is 775 meters and its width is 70 meters. It was so named by Napoleon III in honor of the Grande Armée, which carried out all the campaigns of the First Empire.

Paris ave de la grande armee towards the arc de triomphe jan13

Leaving Paris, on the right side and even numbers, the avenue runs alongside the Ferdinandville district and the 17éme; the left side and the odd numbers are part of the 16éme and the former town of Passy. Avenue de la Grande-Armée is an extension of the Champs-Élysées beyond the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile.  After Porte Maillot, the straight line continues through Avenue Charles-de-Gaulle (formerly Avenue de Neuilly) then, crossing the Seine river by Pont de Neuilly, the prospect of more than 15 km continues towards La Défense and the Grande Arche.

Twice a year first around May 10 and then around August 1st, the Sun sets in the axis of Avenue de la Grande-Armée. For a person located on the Champs-Élysées, the solar disk is thus visible for a few minutes under the arch of the Arc de Triomphe. On May 10, 1994, a partial solar eclipse accompanied the phenomenon. Note that in the opposite direction seen from Porte Maillot, the Sun rises twice a year in the Arc de Triomphe, around February 7 and November 4! Amazing Paris!!!  The Etoile tunnel directly links the avenue des Champs-Élysées and the avenue de la Grande-Armée, passing under the Arc de Triomphe. Halfway between the Etoile and Porte Maillot, at number 36, is Place Yvon-et-Claire-Morandat, named after two resistance fighters given to this crossroads in 1987. On this square is the entrance to Argentine  metro line 1 station on the limits of   neighborhood  or quartier Chaillot 16éme arrondissement ,and neighborhood Ternes of the 17éme arrondissement.

A bit of history I like

The old major road which led from Paris to the west was the avenue des Ternes then called Chaussée de Neuilly, which went to the ford of Neuilly. As early as the Middle Ages and undoubtedly since the Gallic period, this made it possible to go from Paris to Saint-Germain, to Cherbourg and to Le Havre as it was the “roll-roll” route that gave the neighborhood its name, du Roule. The Avenue de la Grande-Armée is fairly recent because it was only created during the reign of king Louis XV. The Avenue de la Grande Armée, known as the Route de Neuilly, was therefore opened under Louis XVI with its current width of 70 meters from the start, continuing the grandiose perspective of the Tuileries garden to the previously name pl de l’Etoile. In 1854, Haussmann restructured Place de l’Etoile (now known officially as Charles-de-Gaulle) with its twelve avenues that radiate from it, the main ones being the Champs-Élysées and the Grande-Armée. The avenue was called successively, the route de Neuilly in 1730, route de Saint-Germain in 1820, Avenue de la Porte-Maillot in 1848, Avenue de Neuilly in 1860, then finally the Avenue de la Grande-Armée in 1864. Before being attached to Paris in 1863, it formed part of the national road N13 from Paris to Cherbourg. Today, there remains a short section of Paris of 100 meters which bears the name of Avenue de Neuilly beyond the Porte Maillot, its extension into Neuilly being henceforth called Avenue Charles-de-Gaulle.

In the directory of the year 1900, there are 34 addresses under the heading “automobile” only on this Avenue de la Grande Armée and more than 50 if one counts those of the close by districts, that is to say more than half of all the corresponding sections. Famous names like Peugeot, Renault, Dunlop, de Dion Bouton, Panhard-Levassor, Decauville and others now gone like Darracq, Clément-Bayard, Le Zèbre, the Parisian Cart Company and, for spare parts, Mestre and Blatgé. The first motor shows were held nearby, in the Salle Wagram , from 1894 until the Universal Exhibition of 1900, after which they will be held at the Grand Palais. The neighborhood has honored and kept the memory of these pioneers like in the center of the place Saint-Ferdinand sits the statue of Serpolet and in the Square Parodi adjoining the Porte Maillot, there is a fountain commemorating the arrival of Paris-Bordeaux- Paris of 1895, to the glory of Émile Levassor.

Interesting buildings that I like to tell you about:

At No 4: site of the former Le Napoléon cinema opened in 1934, closed in 1988. It specialized in Walt Disney cartoons. No 6: Roland Garros had opened in this spot in 1909 its brand Roland Garros automobiles – sports cars. At No 12: the French photographer Valentin Vaucamps, born in Maubeuge (nord 59) established the Lumina company there, specializing in cameras and which exploited the trichrome process which produced color photos. No 23 ,the socialite painter and engraver Jules-Ferdinand Jacquemart lived at this address from 1873 until his death. He was the son of art historian Albert Jacquemart. No 24: home of the military painter Édouard Detaille , whose great historical machines were very fashionable. The sculptor-statuary Jean Antonin Carlès , Grand Prix of the Universal Exhibition of 1889, also lived in this building, before having his workshop at 98, rue des Batignolles. From 1900 to 1907, this address was that of the exhibition store of the Industrial Company of Automobile Telephone-Car System Ader, a firm founded by Clément Ader, a pioneer of aviation in France. At No 26 in the early 1960s, sports car fans found the Matra Sports store here.  At No 27 the “Au Petit Matelot” stores, which still exist at this location since 1906 at the corner of rue d’Argentine where a plaque recalls that these stores founded in 1790 on the Quai d’Anjou ,Ile Saint-Louis of where they were expropriated in 1932. Balzac refers to them in his Little Dictionary of Signs in 1826. At No 42: former La Boîte à films cinema, ex Studio Obligado. Created in 1938, demolished in 1987, (I saw it before been demolished unfortunately) it mainly programmed films in Spanish for the servants of the neighborhood. At No 56 there is the Reformed Church de l’Étoile. At No 74, the former Maillot Palace cinema opened in 1916, then Maillot-Palace-Cinema from 1922 to 1980 , and also called Cinérama. At No 80 it hosted the café-restaurant La Terrasse where, on July 12, 1943, an attack took place against some forty Nazis soldiers who were having their breakfast. Bernard Courtault is convicted and then shot following the attack. At No 82 the Neuilly – Porte Maillot train station, on the old Petite Ceinture line. At No 83 the former Royal Maillot or Grand-Royal cinema opened in 1910, closed in 1969. At the north end of the avenue by the porte Maillot, you see the Palais de Congrés or convention center (many times here), here was from 1909 the Luna-Park amusement park, which itself replaced the Printania music-garden, inaugurated in 1904.

A bit on the perspective of walking around Paris from the Paris tourist office here : https://en.parisinfo.com/practical-paris/paris-maps-plans

And on getting around Paris from the Paris tourist office here: https://en.parisinfo.com/practical-paris/how-to-get-to-and-around-paris

As well as looking for similar wordings in my blog on walking and public transports, driving in Paris etc. Again, a marvelous avenue and beautiful architecture as well as the history as above and more. Again, well worth your time to walk it.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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4 Comments to “Paris and the Avenue!!!”

  1. So much history for such a small area. Thanks for compiling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting history. I enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

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