Eiffel Tower and the Trocadero, Exposition Universal, 1900, Paris, France

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Eiffel Tower and the Trocadero, Exposition Universal, 1900, Paris, France

The old Palais du Trocadéro (now demolished)

The hill of Chaillot was first arranged for the 1867 World's Fair. For the 1878 World's Fair, the (old) Palais du Trocadéro was built here (where meetings of international organizations could be held during the fair). The palace's form was that of a large concert hall with two wings and two towers; its style was a mixture of exotic and historical references, generally called "Moorish" but with some Byzantine elements. The architect was Gabriel Davioud. The concert hall contained a large organ built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll; the first large organ to be installed in a concert hall in France (it has since been modified twice, and eventually moved in 1977 to the Auditorium Maurice Ravel in Lyon, where is still in use today). The building proved unpopular, although the cost expended in its construction delayed its replacement for nearly fifty years.

Below the building in the space left by former underground quarries, a large aquarium was built to contain fish of French rivers. It was renovated in 1937 but closed again for renovation from 1985 until May 22, 2006.[3] The space between the palais and the Seine is set with gardens, designed by Jean-Charles Alphand, and an array of fountains. Within its garden, the old palace contained two large animal statues, of a rhinoceros and an elephant, which were removed and stored during the demolition of the old Trocadero palace, and have been located next to the entrance of the Musée d'Orsay since 1986.

The new Palais de Chaillot

For the Exposition Internationale of 1937, the old Palais du Trocadéro was demolished and replaced by the Palais de Chaillot which now tops the hill. It was designed in classicizing "moderne" style by architects Louis-Hippolyte Boileau, Jacques Carlu and Léon Azéma. Like the old palais, the palais de Chaillot features two wings shaped to form a wide arc: indeed, these wings were built on the foundations of those of the former building. However, unlike the old palais, the wings are independent buildings and there is no central element to connect them: instead, a wide esplanade leaves an open view from the place du Trocadéro to the Eiffel Tower and beyond.

The buildings are decorated with quotations by Paul Valéry, and sculptural groups at the attic level by Raymond Delamarre, Carlo Sarrabezolles and Alfred Bottiau. The eight gilded figures on the terrace of the Rights of Man are attributed to the sculptors Alexandre Descatoire, Marcel Gimond, Jean Paris dit Pryas, Paul Cornet, Lucien Brasseur, Robert Couturier, Paul Niclausse, and Félix-Alexandre Desruelles.

The buildings now house a number of museums:

  • The Musée national de la Marine (naval museum) and the Musée de l'Homme (ethnology) in the southern (Passy) wing.

  • The Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, including the Musée national des Monuments Français, in the eastern (Paris) wing, from which one also enters the Théâtre national de Chaillot, a theater below the esplanade.

It was on the front terrace of the palace that Adolf Hitler was pictured during his short tour of the vanquished city in 1940, with the Eiffel Tower in the background. This became an iconic image of the Second World War.

It is in the Palais de Chaillot that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. This event is now commemorated by a stone, and the esplanade is known as the esplanade des droits de l'homme ("esplanade of human rights"). The Palais de Chaillot was also the initial headquarters of NATO, while the "Palais de l'OTAN" (now Université Paris Dauphine) was being built.

Jardins du Trocadéro

Main article: Jardins du Trocadéro

The Jardins du Trocadéro occupy the open space bounded to the northwest by the wings of the Palais de Chaillot and to the southeast by the Seine and the Pont d'Iéna. The present garden has an area of 93,930 m2, and was created for the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (1937), on the design of architect Roger-Henri Expert. The entire site was formerly the garden of the old Palais du Trocadéro, laid out by Jean-Charles Alphand.


Five avenues originate in the Trocadéro: the avenue Henri-Martin which links the Trocadéro with the porte de la Muette and passes in front of the lycée Janson de Sailly (Janson de Sailly secondary school); the avenue Paul Doumer which also approaches the Muette; the avenue d'Eylau, which goes to the Mexico Plaza; the avenue Kléber, which goes to the place de l'Etoile; and the avenue du Président Wilson which goes to the Pont de l'Alma and the Seine. There is a big municipal library near the Trocadéro's square. The high retaining walls of the Trocadero cemetery were constructed by the French industrialist, François Coignet.

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Comments (19)

Teunis Haveman on February 10, 2012

Ook weer een fraai doorkijkje met vele details

Mooie kleuren en uisnede

Ik had vooor de diepte een stukje gecropt boven denk ik .maar je het is de fotograaf die hem maakt

Gr Teunis


Wim Popken on February 10, 2012

Ze zijn er op gezet dus. Heel speciaal deze foto's met fantastisch licht ook. Gr. Wim

Ik zie geen ui Teunis. ;))

olafju on February 10, 2012

Hello dear Erik

what a great view through the tower, outstanding shot


I wish you a wonderful weekend

best wishes from cold-Germany to Netherlands Olaf

Erik van den Ham on February 10, 2012

Ja en daar waag ik mij niet aan Teunis deze voor mij waardevolle oude foto's zou ik niet durven bij te snijden!

Hallo Wim deze mocht weer in één keer door GE op. Ik hoop dat deze serie van drie wellicht de aandacht trekt van mensen in Parijs of die wellicht daar heen gaan. Ik hoop dan ook van harte dat er mensen zijn die proberen deze foto te maken anno nu. Rephotography blijkt dat te heten kwam ik onlangs achter. In deze enorme online database zitten geweldige beelden van 1890-1900.

Zelf wil ik ook graag nog wat bekende plekken in Nederland gaan 'reproduceren'.

Groeten, Erik

Wim Popken on February 10, 2012

Ik heb er even gekeken. Echt geweldige foto's zijn erbij.

Gr. Wim

Nadia Kushnir on February 10, 2012

Well done, Erik! LIKE!

Jack Tol on February 11, 2012

Deze fotograag hoefde je duidelijk niks over composities te leren Erik. Daar leer ik nog wat van zo.



Polifemo ( * ) on February 11, 2012

...gracias por compartirlas!!!

bdeh on February 12, 2012

Wat een mooie oude plaat Erik en gelukkig toch geselecteerd voor GE. Groeten Berend

c. bayernengel on February 15, 2012

wunderschönes Bild, ♥ like ♥ Liebe Grüße von bayernengel.

Erik van den Ham on February 15, 2012

Thanks Nadia, Serena, Carlos, Pisces and Bayernengel for all of your kind comments, Likes and Y*'s. Glad you appreciate these old images.

Dank Jack en Berend voor jullie virtuele uitstapje naar Parijs. Ik blijf me ook verbazen over de schoonheid van deze oude platen.

Greetings, Groeten, Erik

Michael D on February 15, 2012

It was wonderful, it is wonderful and it will be wonderful forever.

els f on February 15, 2012

Prachtige serie, Erik , deze oude platen van de Eiffeltoren.. zeer de moeite waard om grondig te bekijken! de sfeer is ook bijzonder vanwege de kleuren, LIKE

Bruce Edwards on February 16, 2012

Like(10) this picture.

Erik van den Ham on February 16, 2012

Hello Michael and Bruce this majestic tower surly is and always will be wonderful. These old images give us a wonderful view in the past.

Dank je Els dat zijn ze zeker. Dat is ook één van de redenen om ze hier te plaatsen zodat meer mensen kunnen meegenieten van dit werk.

Warm wishes, Groeten, Erik

Paolo “Canpao” Canna… on February 16, 2012

Excellent perspective and really wonderful scenery.Like 11.Best greetings Canpao

Erik van den Ham on February 16, 2012

Thanks a lot Canpao this view is now quite different. Glad you Like this.

Regards, Erik

fvexler on February 22, 2012

Very interesting. But ... Exposition universelle of 1889...


Erik van den Ham on February 22, 2012

This is a historic image from 1890-1900! that is part of a wonderful collection images from those years. Perhaps you noticed that the Trocadero is still intact! Nowadays this view is very different.

Amitiés, Erik

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Photo taken in Tour Eiffel - Parc du Champ-de-Mars, 75007 Paris, France
Eiffel Tower

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  • Uploaded on February 10, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Erik van den Ham