Follow the route up and down, up your desire.
- The monumental Concorde
- Art and delicatessens in Madeleine
- Power and Luxury: the Faubourg-Saint-Honoré
Concorde - MadeleineFrom the Tuileries Gardens to the Saint-Augustin Church, you'll find a Golden Triangle of fashion houses and official buildings of the French State. Couture institutions and the Elysée Palace line rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré alongside numerous luxurious art galleries. Madeleine gathers art spaces, posh and trendy shops, and the most famous delicatessens.
The monumental Concorde
Start at the Tuileries Gardens. This formal and symmetrical park links the Palais-Royal to the Champs-Elysées. Concorde, in front, is a former Royal Square created in the XVIIIth century: ironically, it was also the scenery of Louis XVI's beheading. Designed by Jacques-Ange Gabriel, it has three spare sides: by the river Seine, by the Tuileries Gardens and by the Champs-Elysées. The last side is lined with two impressive buildings: one is the Hôtel de la Marine ("the Navy Palace" named after its former function) and the other is the very famous Crillon - an exclusive hotel.
In the middle of the square, you'll see the Luxor obelisk. Dating back to 1300 BC, it was offered to the French by the Egyptian viceroy in 1831, in homage to Champollion's discovery - the reading of hieroglyphs. It tells the hagiography of Ramses II. If you don't feel able to appreciate it in its original language, you can at least try to tell the time from its sundial.
The Square is also home to a pair of giant fountains : the Sea Fountain (Fontaine des Mers) and the River Fountain (Fontaine des Fleuves). Both have been renovated in 2000. They were erected in 1840 to celebrate the French shipping technologies. Eight French cities are also represented in allegories: one at each corner of the octagon-shaped square.
Cross the street (Rivoli) and take rue Royale. It's one of the most historical and luxurious Parisian roads. Take a glimpse at Maxim's, a famous restaurant opened at the turn of the XXth century. It's home to a 1900 museum displaying a beautiful collection of French Art Nouveau, from Majorelle furniture to Toulouse-Lautrec paintings. The rue is also lined with crystal shops (Lalique), fashion houses (Dior, Carven) or the babies heaven Bonpoint (for very well-behaved babies!).
Check the Fondation Ricard, a sponsored art gallery, and don't miss Ladurée: its hot chocolate and pastries are a must. You can also visit the Village Royal, a quiet alleyway away from the bustle (at n°25 rue Royale).