September 9, 2018
Today’s journey takes me to the arrondissement of Paris in the northwest corner of inner Paris and one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country. The 16th arrondissement is gargantuan in comparison to the other smaller arrondissements of the inner city. It runs from the north side of the Pont de l’Alma north to the Arc de Triomphe, northwest to the Place de la Porte Maillot, encompasses the entirety of the vast Bois de Boulogne, delimited at the southern tip by the Porte de Saint-Cloud, and is bordered on the east side by the banks of the Seine river.
With its ornate 19th-century buildings, large avenues, prestigious schools, museums, and various parks, the 16th arrondissement has long been known as one of French high society’s favourite places of residence to such an extent that the phrase le Seizieme has been associated with great wealth in French popular culture. The 16th arrondissement of Paris is France’s third richest district for average household income, following the 7th, and Neuilly-sur-Seine, both adjacent.
The 16th arrondissement hosts several large sporting venues, including: the Parc des Princes, which is the stadium where Paris Saint-Germain football club plays its home matches; Roland Garros Stadium, where the French Open tennis championships are held; and Stade Jean-Bouin, home to the Stade Français rugby union club. The Bois de Boulogne, the second-largest public park in Paris (behind only the Bois de Vincennes), is also located in this arrondissement. The 16th also includes the quiet and leafy Passy neighborhood, with its many secretive passageways and charming streets, as well as the Passy cemetery, one of the most beautiful of its kind in Paris.
The 16th arrondissement contains many attractions, including Trocadéro, with its two curved wings stretching out from the central plaza as well as the Palais de Chaillot, named after the hill the complex is located atop, housing several museums. The Musée de la Marine is the national naval museum, documenting the history of French seafaring, and featuring many models and historic paintings, as well as the coronation barge used by Napoleon III. The Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine museum is a repository for architectural details rescued from buildings lost due to urban development.
The Palais de Tokyo is a grand limestone building constructed for the International Exhibition of Arts and Technology of 1937, now home to a couple of modern art spaces. One side of the palais is an experimental art space called Le Pavillon, which does not host permanent exhibits, only artist work space and special shows curated by various art people. The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is the modern art museum of the city of Paris. The museum’s holdings include Modigliani’s ‘The Woman With Blue Eyes’, Robert Delaunay’s ‘La Ville de Paris’, and other works by giants of modern art, includinng Picasso, Braque, Calder, Keith Haring, and Pierre Bonnard.
Museums in the 16th focusing on fashion and design include the Fondation Le Corbusier, the Fondation Louis Vuitton, housed in a gorgeous building designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Palais Galliera, with a permanent collection on fashion history, and the musée Baccarat, containing a fine collection from the eponymous crystal maker.
The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands at the western end of the Champs-Élysées on the former Place de l’Étoile, named after the junction formed by its twelve radiating avenues. The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.
Inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome, the Arc de Triomphe measures 50 metres in height, 45 m in width and 22 m in depth. The Arc de Triomphe was the tallest triumphal arch until the completion of the Monumento a la Revolución in Mexico City in 1938, which is 67 metres high. La Grande Arche in La Defense near Paris is intended to mimic its more historical counterpart towards the centre, but is much larger, measuring 110 metres in height, currently the world’s tallest arch.
(Narrative excerpted from Wikipedia, www.tripsavvy.com and www.parisinsidersguide.com)