Visiting Paris, France, and viewing the Eiffel Tower from the Chaillot Palace: impressive views
Location, location, location...
The Eiffel Tower (la tour Eiffel) is an unmissable landmark in Paris, but it can be helpful to choose a good vantage point in order to view it for particularly good effect. I think the view of the Eiffel Tower over the Seine River from the Chaillot Palace (Palais du Chaillot), at the Trocadéro hill, is among the best that can be obtained. The terrace of the Chaillot Palace is very wide and attracts a very large amount of visitors.
The Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 Universal Exhibition (Exposition Universelle), where, maybe for the first time, Republican France had the opportunity to present itself in a major way before world visitors, having tried to put behind it the recent upheavals of the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune. Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923)(1), who also did some work on the Statue of Liberty (2), was commissioned to build what was at first regarded as a temporary structure.
At 324 metres tall, the Tower was the tallest man-made structure for over 40 years. The advent of radio provided the Tower with a permanent purpose: as a transmitter tower, and by 1913 wireless signals were already being exchanged with the United States Naval Observatory in Arlington, Virginia.
The Chaillot Palace
This impressive building is, in its own right, a visitor attraction. Opened in 1937, it houses a number of museums, including the national naval museum (Musée national de la marine ) and the national museum of French monuments (Musée national des Monuments Français ).
A former palace was situated on the site on which the Chaillot Palace now stands, known as the Trocadéro Palace, named for the hill on which these structures were successively built. The name Trocadéro lives on in the name of the subway (Métro ) station for the Chaillot Palace.
Among international organizations which have held important meetings at the Chaillot Palace are the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the General Assembly of the United Nations.
(1) Gustave Eiffel was born in Dijon, France, with the surname Boenickhausen. He later changed it to Eiffel, named for the Eifel (different spelling) region, partly located in Germany, from where his ancestors came.
(2) Puerto Ricans may also be familiar with the Mona Island Lighthouse, commissioned by the US Government, for which Gustave Eiffel was also responsible.
Also worth seeing
An article such as this cannot hope to describe adequately the enormous number of historical and cultural sights of Paris, but, by way of a few very limited comments, visitors may wish to see the Arc de Triomphe at the same time as taking a leisurely walk down the historic Champs Elysées , one of the various, major avenues which lead to place Charles-de-Gaulle , the square where the Arc de Triomphe is situated. The subway (Métro ) stop for the Arc de Triomphe is 'Charles de Gaulle - Etoile'. The famous Louvre Museum's main Métro station is Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre . Notre Dame Cathedral 's Métro stations are either Cité or Saint-Michel .
How to get there: United Airlines flies from New York Newark to Paris (Aéroport Paris-Charles de Gaulle ), from where car rental is available; however, visitors to Paris may wish to explore the city via its excellent public transport system. The Métro station for the Chaillot Palace is Trocadéro . Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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