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Les Champs. Photo: Josh Hallett, Wikipedia

Au soleil, sous la pluie,
A midi ou à minuit –
Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysees.”

Joe Dassin

In the sun or in the rain, at midday or at midnight, all that you want is there, on Champs Elysèes…”

Probably so.

With its cinemas, cafés, luxury shops and emblematic chestnut trees, the Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets with a worldwide reputation of elegance.

Originally fields and market gardens until 1616, the avenue came to life when Maria de Medici decided to extend the axis of the Tuileries Garden with a tree-flanked avenue.

In 1667, King Louis XIV commissioned the Champs Elysèes in the perspective of his Louvre Palace.

The designer of the Versailles gardens, landscape architect André Le Nôtre, then cut a huge avenue across the countryside meadows.

The Champs Élysées in 1890, viewed from the Place de la Concorde. Photo: Wikipedia

The avenue was named Champs Elysèes in 1789.

French for “Elysian Fields”, Les Champs are the final resting places of the souls of the heroic and the virtuous in Greek mythology.

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