From the Arc de Triomphe and the Étoile, the pattern of the streets radiate outward and buildings must adapt. The trimmed chestnut trees lining the boulevards soften the effect until winter comes.
|Paris - Streets and Architecture from the Arc de Triomphe by DG Hudson
The Étoile (renamed the Place Charles de Gaulle*) forms the center with the Arc de Triomphe rising majestically above. Architectural conformity creates pie-shaped wedges, altogether a pleasing pattern from above, and not as noticeable at ground level. In the top horizon on the left of the photo above is the hill of Montmartre and the outline of Sacre Coeur.
The Long View
The straight line effect was intentional to allow a free flow of military parades and were part of the Haussmann plan for fixing some of Paris' major convoluted streets. Georges-Eugène Haussmann, commonly known as Baron Haussmann was appointed by Napoleon III to renovate the older streets.
Wide boulevards allowed the military good line of sight and eradicated unwanted elements of society along with decaying buildings and impassable winding streets. Originally these accommodated carriages and later vehicles as seen in the images.
A sense of order
On the left in the image above, you see the stone edges of the Arc de Triomphe top level as I needed to photograph between the restraining bars on the top level of the monument.
At ground level
Back on the street, this is what it looks as you circle the Arc de Triomphe on left. Round and round they go, with up to ten lanes of determined drivers. This is an orderly version shown below. (One driver told us, you must be somewhat aggressive, and pretend you don't see the other drivers. That sounds like a lot of places. . .)
Note: Place Charles de Gaulle came into existence as the Étoile, translated as 'Square of the Star' and includes the Champs-Élysées. It was renamed in 1970 after the death of General and President Charles de Gaulle. It is still referred to by many using it's original name, and a nearby metro station shows 'Charles de Gaulle - Étoile'. The historical axis of the monuments (Axe historique) cuts through the center of the Arc de Triomphe.
Do you like aerial views? Are you interested in the layout of various cities, and how architecture can emphasize the design? Would you climb the 300 plus steps to get to the top for these views?
Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Place_Charles_de_Gaulle Place Charles de Gaulle or Étoile
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges-Eug%C3%A8ne_Haussmann Details on Haussmann