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Saturday, January 2, 2010


The Avenue des Champs-Elysees is a prestigious avenue in Paris, France and most beautiful avenue in the world. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Paris. With its cinemas, cafes, luxury specialty shops and clipped chestnut trees, the Avenue des Champs- Elysees is one of the most famous streets in the world, and with rents as high as €1.1 million / USD1.5 million per 1,000 square feet of space, it remains the most expensive strip of real estate in Europe. The name is French for Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed dead in Greek mythology.

Champs-ElyseesThe Champs- Elysees were originally fields and market gardens, until 1616, when Marie de Medici decided to extend the garden axis of the Palais des Tuileries with an avenue of trees. By the late 1700s, the Champs- Elysees had become a fashionable avenue; the bosquet plantings on either side had thickened enough to be given formal rectangular glades.

The Avenue des Champs- Elysees is known in France as La plus belle avenue du monde. The arrival of global chain stores in recent years has slightly changed its character, and in a first effort to stem these changes, the City of Paris which is called this trend as "banalisation" decided in 2007 to ban the Swedish clothing chain H&M from opening a store on the avenue. In 2008, however, American clothing chain Abercrombie & Fitch was given permission to open a store.

The avenue runs for 2 kilometres / 1.25 miles through the 8th arrondissement in northwestern Paris, from the Place de la Concorde in the east, with the Obelisk of Luxor, to the Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly the Place de l'Etoile) in the west, location of the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs-Elysees forms part of the Axe historique.

Champs-ElyseesChamps-Elysees vue de la ConcordeThe lower part of the Champs- Elysees is bordered by greenery and by buildings such as the Theatre Marigny and the Grand Palais containing the Palais de la Decouverte. The Elysee Palace is slightly to the north, but not on the avenue itself. Further to the west, the avenue is lined with cinemas, cafes and restaurants most notably Fouquets and luxury specialty shops. The Champs- Elysees ends at the Arc de Triomphe, built by Napoleon Bonaparte to honour his victories.

The avenue is also one of the most famous streets in the world for upscale shopping. Adidas, Benetton, the Disney Store, Nike, Zara, Cartier, Bel Air Fashion, continental Europe's largest Gap, and Sephora occupy major spaces. Traditionally home to popular brands, as well as luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, the Avenue des Champs Elysees confirms its world-class appeal as a prime real estate location: it has lately seen the opening of new big upscale shops such as the biggest Adidas store in the world. Abercrombie & Fitch has received permission for a flagship store there, scheduled to open to the public in 2011.

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