Trocadéro Hill in Paris

June 2:

Returning from a visit to my old high school in New Jersey to jury student art awards, I thought I would say a few words about yesterday’s photo. But posting from a wobbly train at night is not as easy as I thought. So, I’ll be brief and say if you’ve never been to the Trocadéro, add it to your next Parisian itinerary.

The vantage point of the aforementioned rainy day view of the Eiffel Tower is from one of the two side buildings which arc around a vast esplanade of the Palais de Chaillot. Located on the Trocadéro hill in the sixteenth arrondissement, it overlooks the Seine with a direct sight line to the tower from the west. It’s a view not often seen by tourists in the center of Paris.

A few bits of trivia:

  • The name Trocadéro derives from the Battle of Trocadéro, a French victory in Spain in 1823.
  • Palais de Chaillot is a 1937 construction, which replaced the old Palais de Trocadéro to coincide with the 1937 Universal Exposition and intended as a monumental entrance to the Fair.
  • The horizontal complex houses a theater and multiple museums that include architecture, marine, and ethnic themes.
  • Below the hill, built atop an old quarry are lovely gardens, fountains, and an aquarium (Aquarium de Paris Cinéaqua)–supposedly built to house the fish of the Seine. On a sunny day it’s a wonderful space to lounge around and take in the panoramic view of the surroundings.
  • According to Wikapedia, in 1940, Adolph Hitler posed on this esplanade with the Eiffel Tower at his back. As if to make amends for this infamous WWII image, the UN General Assembly’s 1948 Declaration of Universal Rights is now set in stone here as the Parvis des Libertés et des Droits de l’Homme (Forecourt of Freedom and Human Rights).
  • NATO was first headquartered here before moving to its current location.

At Trocadéro, there’s much to entertain adults as well as kids. But the view alone is worth the trip—even on a rainy day.

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