picture from France in Photos
On the right bank of the Seine, the Palais de Chaillot is a set of curved twin white stone structures of monumental proportions built for the 1937 World Exhibition, the last colonial exhibition in Paris (at that time, France had the second largest colonial empire in the world, including important outposts in Africa and Asia). The Palais de Chaillot replaced the massive Palais du Trocadéro, demolished in 1935, which had been built for the 1878 World’s Fair. The wings of the Palais de Chaillot flank a grand terrace that overlooks the Trocadéro gardens, pool and fountains, from which there is a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower, located directly across the river. It is especially atmospheric to visit the terrace after dark, when the fountains are floodlit and the Eiffel Tower is dramatically illuminated.
Palais de Chaillot as viewed from the Eiffel Tower
The Palais complex contains notable attractions, including the Musée de l'Homme (natural history, ethnology, anthropology), Musée de la Marine (naval museum), a large theatre (Théâtre National de Chaillot) and the Café de l’Homme (photo below), whose terrace tables are coveted spots from which to view the Eiffel Tower. Most of the interior galleries, halls and staircases have retained their original Art Deco features and decor, and the theatre's original lobby remains intact.
The vast terrace of the Palais de Chaillot looking toward the Eiffel Tower. Eight gilded statues line the terrace.
The Palais de Chaillot is named after the Chaillot hill on which it stands. In the 16th century, Catherine de Medicis built a country house on this hill, which then towered above a bucolic landscape. This was replaced by a convent built by Henriette de France. The convent was later torn down to accommodate a palace that Napoleon dreamed of building for his son, the King of Rome. This plan was never materialized, due to the collapse of Napoleon’s empire. Next the 1848 revolutionaries wanted to built a vast palace of the people of France, but nothing was built here for sixty years, until the Moorish fantasy Palais du Trocadéro was erected for the Universal Exhibition of 1878. The present Palais de Chaillot replaced that structure.
Palais de Chaillot
17 place du Trocadéro
Métro: Trocadéro (lines 6 & 9)
Open: 9:45a to 5:15p except Tuesdays
The Eiffel Tower at sunrise, photographed from the grand terrace of the Palais de Chaillot.