Fashionable Paris

The major axis of the eighth arondissement is the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, arguably the most famous street in the world. South of it are found the great fashion houses such as Dior, Chanel, and YSL. to the north are some of the centers of banking and finance. At the western end the Grands Boulevards fan out from the Place de l'Étoile and Napoleon's great Arc de Triomphe.

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Place de l'Alma

One of my favorite corners of Paris has always been the Place de l'Alma on the southwestern corner of the eighth. Downstream is the Eiffel Tower, upstream is the Louvre. The bridge is Paris' flood gauge, the tour boats (Bateaux-Mouches) leave from here. Up the oh-so-elegant Ave George V are the American Cathedral and two of the top hotels. To the west lie the 16th arondissement, the Trocadéro and the former village of Passy.

The Flame of Liberty is a replica of the new (1986) torch of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. It sits over the underpass where Princess Diana died in 1997,and has become an unofficial memorial to her.

The "Zouave" is a piece of the old bridge that was re-installed on the new bridge. Parisians measure the flooding of the Seine by where it comes on the Zouave.


Entrance to the American pro-Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

The American Cathedral has the second tallest spire in Paris, after Notre-Dame.

American Cathedral interior

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de TriompheWhen I lived in Paris it was the Place de l'Étoile (Star Place) because of the 12 points in the pavement that point to the 12 boulevards that meet here. Now it's the Place Charles de Gaulle. The center is still dominated by the Arc de Triomphe, celebrating Napoleons' victories. The names of his battles (except for Waterloo) and generals are inscribed on the monument. There are stairs and an elevator to take you to the army museum inside the top. Then you can step out on the roof for a superb view.

We didn't take the underpass over to the monument on this trip. We changed buses here a few times, and caught glimpses of it from down the various avenues. On the left is the best picture of it from this trip.

Arc de Triomphe stairs
This is a picture I took when we climbed the stairs back in 1999. It has always been one of my favorites.
Arc de Triomphe du Carousel
There are actually three arches that line up. This little one is the Arc de Triomphe du Carousel, down near the Louvre.

And if you look through the little one, up the Champs-Elysées, through the Arc de Triomphe, and down the Avenue de la Grande Armée, you see, over five miles away, the Grande Arche de La Défense

Place de la Concorde

One of the largest and busiest squares in Paris, the Place de la Concorde has always been in the center of happenings in Paris. It was once the Place Louis XV. After1789 it became the Place de la Révolution where the guillotine was set up and took so many lives, including Louis XVI and his queen, Marie-Antoinette. This bloody reign of terror is the main reason that the French are often ambivalent about their revolution on July 14th, while Americans are proud to celebrate the glorious fourth of July.

Looking west

Looking up the Champs-Elysées

Looking down the rue Royale from the  Madeleine. Across the Seine is the Assemblé Nationale (French parliament) and the dome of Napoleon's tomb.

The most ornate lamppost I have ever seen.

One of the two fountains.

We checked out the menu at Maxim's on the Rue Royale($$$$), and then got a Salade Niçoise next door at Minim's ($$).

Mary Magdalene interceding with Jesus at the Last Judgment.

West side of the  Madeleine

The interior of the  Madeleine was being prepared for a concert.

Parc Monceau

On the border between the 8th and 17th arondissements lies an unusual park: the Parc Monceau. It is informal, with meandering paths, fake ruins, and the occasional statue. This is what is called an "English style" garden. It is also semi-public in that it closes its gates in the evening and only the adjoining houses, with their private entrances, have access.

Park gate


House with private access

Alfred de Musset

Floral bed

"Jules Verne" carousel

Musée Nissim de Camondo

One of the elegant mansions near the Parc Monceau is now a branch of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the Musée Nissim de Camondo. The stoty starts with the Spanish Inquisition: The Camondo family was one of the Jewish families expelled from Spain. They settled in Venice then moved to Istanbul where in the 19th c. they took up banking. It was so successful that soon they were the bankers for the Ottoman Empire. When the Ottoman Bank replaced them, they moved back to Italy where their generosity had old Abraham Solomon Camondo become the Count de Camondo.

They moved to Paris in the 1890's and became collectors and philanthropists. Abraham's grandson, Nissim, was a pilot killed defending France in WW I. Upon the death of his father, Moïse in 1935, the mansion was given to France and the house and collection have been kept as they were then. Tragically the last members of the Camondo family were deported by the Nazis and died at Auschwitz.


Abraham Solomon Camondo, Banker to the Ottoman Empire

The garden


Sitting room

Nissim's bed room with a portrait of his father, Moïse de Camondo


Dining room

Grand Salon


Grand Bureau

Stepped table so-called "happy day". Hallmark of Martin Carlin, circa 1766.

Buffon porcelain services made at Sèvres in the 1780s with a bird theme.


Servants' dining room