The second walk in the Paris revivals. This is a walk from the Eiffel Tower alongside the Seine to the Musée de l’Orangerie, criss-crossing the river and stopping at various interesting places along the way. The map above shows the two endpoints but I can’t seem to save the actual route.
Leaving the Metro at Trocadéro I walked through Jardins du Trocadéro and across the bridge to the Eiffel Tower. I had no interest in going up the tower, I think on my first visit in 1972 I went part way up, to the second floor, but you weren’t able to go to the top floor for some reason. No doubt a lot has changed.
I still had a wander around at ground level though, taking photos of the wonderful Jacaranda trees in bloom at the time, as well as the Horse Chestnuts.
I continued along the quayside on the left bank passing by an unusual war memorial to those who lost their lives in the Algerian Wars (the Maghreb region of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria). This war from 1954 to 1962 led to Algeria gaining its independence from France.
Just along from here is the pretty Debilly footbridge,
but I continued to the next bridge, Pont des Invalides, where I crossed over and into the quaint little Jardin de la Nouvelle France close to the Grand Palais, which is what I came to look at.
Now I was on the Avenue Winston Churchill where there is in fact a statue of the man although I don’t appear to have taken a photo of him. I imagine you all know what he looked like. The Grand Palais¹ ( a large historic site, exhibition hall and museum complex was built in the neo-classic style in 1900 for the 1900 Exposition Universelle) was in the process of being restored and will more than likely be open to the public now. I was only able to wander around outside and peep into the ground floor and see the huge nave and the amazing staircase opposite leading to the balconies.
I spent quite a lot of time here! Opposite is the Petit Palais, a richly decorated 1900 building, housing eclectic fine arts dating from Renaissance to 20th century.
Spin around to face the river and you will see the magnificent Pont Alexandre III, an ornate, late 19th-century arched bridge in a Beaux Arts style and named after a Russian Czar. In the distance is Les Invalides where Napolean’s tomb lies.
At this point I was aiming for the Avenue des Champs Élysées and the gardens. The current appearance of the gardens dates from 1840 but its origins go back to the seventeenth century.
Even the lamp-posts are worthy of a photograph!
Crossing the avenue I entered the gardens, stopping in Square Jean Perrin to admire a pretty building with a golden cupid statue on top, ready to fire his arrows.
Within the gardens are several statues, including one of Pompidou (Prime Minister of France from 1962 to 1968—the longest tenure in the position’s history—and later President of the French Republic from 1969 until his death in 1974). (Charles de Gaulle can be found at the end of Avenue Winston Churchill in Place Clemenceau.)
It is a pleasant green oasis in this big city with an abundance of benches on which to sit and eat your lunch or read a book. There are plenty of trees to disguise all the traffic close by and one or two fountains, including this one of Diana.
Beyond this fountain is a theatre and when I was there some rather strange sculptures were outside.
Towards the end of the garden as you keep heading towards Place de la Concorde you will see another of the Wallis fountains which I spoke about in my previous post about Paris.
¹ A historic renovation project led by architect Umberto Napolitano will allow the Grand Palace to recover its original grandeur. It will close at the end of 2020 to reopening in the spring of 2023.