The Trocadero, its esplanade towards the Eiffel Tower
Categories : Discover Paris, published on : 7/6/23
The Trocadéro is a hill in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. At its summit is the famous esplanade of the same name, as well as the Palais de Chaillot, while the Trocadéro gardens stretch out at the foot of the hill. Let's discover this emblematic Paris landmark.
The Trocadero esplanade
The Trocadéro esplanade is the huge square separating the two wings of the Palais de Chaillot, a building constructed in place of the Palais du Trocadéro. You can reach the top of the Chaillot hill from Place du Trocadéro and Place du 11 novembre, or from the Trocadéro garden.
The esplanade: a balcony overlooking the Eiffel Tower
Tourists and Parisians alike love to gather on the esplanade du Trocadéro to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower. On the other side of the Seine, after the Pont d'Iéna, the Iron Lady is majestic. To get there, simply walk down the hill through the Trocadero gardens and terraces, taking your time to admire the beauty of the setting.
Esplanade du Trocadéro: why the name?
Built in the 1930s, at the same time as the Palais de Chaillot, the esplanade was created for the 1937 Universal Exhibition. Its name refers to the Battle of Trocadero, which took place in Cadiz in 1828 under the command of Napoleon I, and symbolizes the French army's victory over Spanish forces.
The origins of the Trocadero esplanade
The Trocadero esplanade was created at the same time as the Palais de Chaillot, for the 1937 Universal Exhibition. In 1985, it was renamed the "Parvis des Droits de l'Homme" (Human Rights Square), since it was here that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
Initially, a huge 4,600-seat auditorium was installed between the two wings of the palace. But a fire in the 1930s destroyed the entire building, and the esplanade was built in its place.
The various statues on the esplanade
If you have a chance to walk the flagstones of the esplanade, and take in the view of the Eiffel Tower and the Champ-de-Mars, you'll notice that in front of each wing of the Palais de Chaillot stand 8 statues. These bronze sculptures are in fact allegories:
- Youth, by Alexandre Descatoire ;
- Flore, by Marcel Gimond ;
- Morning, from Pryas;
- La Campagne, by Paul Cornet ;
- Fruit, by Félix Desruelles ;
- Spring, by Paul Niclausse ;
- Gardens, by Robert Couturier ;
- Les oiseaux, by Louis Brasseur.
One of the must-see tourist attractions in Paris's 16th arrondissement, the Trocadero gardens offer a lovely stroll with a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower.
The history of the Trocadero gardens
Before becoming the site we know today, the hill of Chaillot was the subject of numerous projects that never saw the light of day. From the Villa Trocadéro, imagined by Louis XVIII, to the imperial city in honor of the King of Rome, desired by Napoleon, to the monumental fountain featuring a lighthouse, dreamed up by sculptor Antoine Etex, nothing was ever realized. In the end, architects Jules Bourdais and Gabriel Davioud created a neo-Moorish palace in a rather unexpected style.
To showcase the palace, the Trocadero gardens were laid out for the 1878 Universal Exhibition. At the time, urban planner Alphand took the initiative of departing from traditional French-style gardens, proposing an immense waterfall running down the gentle slope of the Chaillot hill. All around, numerous winding paths are decorated with statues and fountains, and at the bottom of the hill, an atypical aquarium is installed.
Today, part of the aquarium and gardens have survived, but the fountains and statues have been moved several times. The bronze sculptures, allegories of the 6 continents, are now on display in front of the Musée d'Orsay, while other works are scattered throughout France.
A stroll through the Trocadero gardens
Today, the "Troca", as it's known to trendy young Parisians, remains a very pleasant place to stroll. The main attraction is the Trocadéro fountain, or Warsaw fountain, with its large basin and 20 water cannons, as well as the many waterfalls that cascade into it. In the evening, when the Trocadéro district and the 16th arrondissement come alive, it's always a pleasure to admire the fountain's light show, which features various bronze statues with animal heads.
Further along the garden paths, numerous sculptures dating back to the Belle Époque are still on display, amid lush vegetation. After passing the children's playground, the garden leads to the Paris Aquarium.
Bleu de Grenelle: your hotel room with a view of the Eiffel Tower
The Bleu de Grenelle boutique hotel is ideal for a stay in the heart of Paris. In less than 30 minutes, you can walk to the Place du Trocadéro, the École Militaire, the Champ-de-Mars park, the Eiffel Tower and the Pont d'Iéna.
The hotel's 57 rooms offer a range of services to suit every need and configuration. From the classic room to the suite, you can also choose to stay in a room with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Here, comfort is at its best, with all the amenities you need to ensure an unforgettable stay. All you have to do is order a bottle of champagne, and enjoy an incredible experience with a view of the Eiffel Tower and its night-time glitter, curled up in the comfort of your room.
And to make your trip even more enjoyable, we offer a wide range of services, including breakfast, bar and tea time.
Offering an exceptional view of the Eiffel Tower, the Trocadéro, with its gardens and esplanade, is a must-see area of Paris's 16th arrondissement. You can easily reach it from our Bleu de Grenelle Paris 15 hotel, and then continue your visit to Paris's major tourist attractions.