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Paris - Ile De France

Palais de Chaillot - Place Trocadero - Paris

This page was updated on: Sunday, December 10, 2017 at: 7:14 pm

Faubourg de la Conférence

The Palais de Chaillot overlooks the Eiffel Tower (on the south bank) from the top of the Colline de Chaillot.

The hill was once on the territory of the village of Nimio.

This small community developed during the 6th century between the Seine and the current Place Charles de Gaulle-Etoile.

However, the village split in two settlements during the 15th century.

Autolium became Auteuil and Calcium became Chaillot.

Calcium spread on the stony north facing hillside among vineyards, gardens and fields, hence its name!

The rural village of Chaillot became a borough of Paris in 1659 and a district in 1787.

It became also known as Faubourg de la Conférence, because the Porte de la Conférence, the toll gate of the Mur des Fermiers Généraux stood in the village.

Away from the city, yet close enough, it also became a sought after area.

Several abbeys and monasteries were therefore built and thrived until the French Revolution.

Palais du Trocadéro

Napoleon I leveled the Colline de Chaillot in the early 1800's in order to build a palace for his son.

However, the building was never erected, as he was booted out of power!

The hill was landscaped, decades later, on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition of 1867.

The Palais du Trocadéro was built for the exhibition of 1878 and served for international meetings.

It was named in order to commemorate the seizure of the Andalusia fortress located in the Bay of Cadiz.

Amazingly, the Moorish style palace the architect Davioud built was kept until the International Exhibition of 1937.

Once the fair over, the architects Boileau, Carlu et Azema pulled down most of the mansion and replaced it with the current Art Deco building.

The twin semi-circular wings they retained are therefore the only remnants of Davioud's palace!

Palais de Chaillot

Once the central building pulled down, the architects created a vast esplanade.

The Esplanade des Droits de l'Homme boasts prime views of the Eiffel Tower and the Rive Gauche!

They also adorned the pediments of the semi-circular wings with verses by the French poet Paul Valery.

The south wing houses the Musée National de la Marine and the Musée de l'Homme (ethnology).

The east wing is home to the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine (heritage), the Musée des Monuments Français and Théâtre National de Chaillot.

Esplanade des Droits de l'Homme

The Esplanade des Droits de l'Homme commemorates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The General Assembly of the United Nations indeed adopted the bill in the Palais de Chaillot on December 10, 1948.

Impressive sculptures that symbolize Human Rights adorn this superb south facing terrace.

They include La Pensée  by Delamarre and Les Éléments by Carlo Sarrabezolles.

You'll also find two impressive bronze statues in front of each wing:

Hercules subduing the Cretan bull by Albert Pommier and Apollomusagète by Henri Bouchard.

Jardins du Trocadéro

The Palais de Chaillot and its terrace overlook the gardens that gently slope towards the river Seine.

Alphand landscaped the original Jardins du Trocadéro for the Universal Exhibition of 1878.

The architect Roger-Henri Expert re-landscaped them in 1937 for the International Exhibition of Arts and Technique in Modern Life of 1937.

Expert retained the romantic twisty paths Alphand created in the lateral gardens.

However, he replaced the original central fountain with the Fontaine de Varsovie - Warsaw Fountain.

This fountain is highly representative of the monumental architecture of the inter war.

Its eight basins (fed by 56 water cannons) indeed flow into each other in the manner of a cascade.

The effect is quite spectacular!

A series of gilded bronze and stone sculptures embellished the fountain and the lateral slopes.

You'll find a dog and two horse heads by the sculptor Pierre Guyot, and a deer and a bull's head by Paul Jouve.

The rhinoceros and elephant statues, which initially stood in the Jardins du Trocadéro, were transferred by the entrance to the Orsay Museum in 1986.

Two sculptural groups, La Joie de vivre by Léon Driveir and La Jeunesse by Pierre-Marie Poisson, adorn the fountain's lower level, the main pool.

Directions: 16th district
Metro: Trocadéro on Lines 6,9
Coordinates: Lat 48.862368 - Long 2.288093

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