Trocadéro

There always seems to be a festive atmosphere up on the roof of the Chaillot Theater, where people from all over the world come to look at the Eiffel Tower.

This roof is often referred to as the Esplanade du Trocadéro, but its official name is le Parvis des Libertés et des Droits de l’Homme (Square of Liberties and Human Rights). This name was given in 1986 on the initiative of the President of the Republic, François Mitterrand, to commemorate the fact that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed here at an assembly of the United Nations in December 1948.

People on the roof

People on the roof

Note that there are no cars in any of these pictures. That in itself is an enhancement of the festive atmosphere, since it is such a relief not to be harassed by cars for a few minutes.

Taking photos

This is where people come to take those funny photos of each other leaning on the Eiffel Tower or pushing it over. This girl had to pose for two or three minutes until her friend had found just the right angle for the photo.

Palais de Chaillot

The Palais de Chaillot is a large, unattractive building in the simple-minded style of the 1930s. To me it looks similar to some of the Nazi buildings that were built in Germany in the same decade. (See my post Nazi architecture in Braunschweig.)

The Palais de Chaillot was originally built for the Universal Exhibition (World’s Fair) of 1937. It consists of two large wings, the ‘Paris Wing’ to the east and the ‘Passy Wing’ to the west, with the theater and the Square of Liberties and Human Rights in the middle.

View from Palais de Chaillot

This photo shows the Eiffel Tower and the back of the statue Apollon Musagète by Henri Bouchard (1875-1960), as seen from the café of the Architecture Museum on the ground floor of the Paris Wing.

Apollon Musagète by Henri Bouchard

Here is the back of the same statue, which now seems to be towering over the Eiffel Tower because of the angle I have chosen.

The same statue from the front

Considering the style of this statue, it comes as no surprise to learn that the sculptor Henri Bouchard was a fervent Nazi sympathizer, who for this reason lost his professorship after the Liberation of Paris in 1944.

View from the second floor

Here we have the Eiffel Tower and the Montparnasse Tower from an unusual angle, namely from the second floor of the Paris Wing of the Palais de Chaillot. The trees on the left belong to the Trocadéro Gardens.

My photos in this post are from 2014. I revised the text in 2018.

See more posts on the 16th arrondissement of Paris.

4 thoughts on “Trocadéro”

  1. There may not be any cars at the Trocadero, but I remember there always used to be men with suitcases full of trinkets. Both the men and the box of trinkets disappeared abruptly when the gendarmes turned up

  2. Amazingly despite many visits to Paris I have never been up on this roof! I guess the Eiffel Tower isn’t really one of my priorities when visiting, although I have been up it twice – once as a schoolgirl and once when we took my mother-in-law to Paris (early 90s I think) as she was keen to go up.

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