Localisation
  • Jardin du Champ-de-Mars, Jardin du Champ-de-Mars, Paris, 75007, France

Open hours

Visit: Free - Self-guided tour

Guided tour: organized by the Direction des Espaces Verts and  Environment, information at www.paris.fr.

Opening hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Access

Access to Parc du Champs-de-Mars, via Quai Branly, Avenue de la Motte-Piquet, Avenue de la Bourdonnais and Avenue de Suffren,  75007 Paris

  • Métro - Line 8 - Station École Militaire and line 6 Stations Bir-Hakeim, Dupleix.
  • RER - Line C - Champ de Mars - Tour Eiffel
  • Bus - 42, 69, 87, 82, 92, 28 ou 80.

Velib

  • Station 7103, 2 rue de Belgrade
  • Station 15105, 84 rue de la Federation
  • Station 904, Ecole Militaire

Handicap: iInformation on accessibility: Easy walkways, level park.
The nearest restrooms are located at 55 Avenue de Suffren and 2 Place Joffre.

  • a JC DECAUX toilet on site rue rislere
  • a JC DECAUX toilet on site

Dogs on a leash are allowed in the alleys.

Address

Jardin du Champ-de-Mars,
Parc du Champs-de-Mars, Quai Branly,
Avenue de la Motte-Piquet, Avenue de la Bourdonnais and Avenue de Suffren,
75007 Paris

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ', ") 48° 51′ 22″ N 2° 17′ 54″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85538 2.29728
Description complète

The Champ-de-Mars Park is a vast public garden, entirely open and located in the center of Paris in the 7th arrondissement. It is between the Eiffel Tower to the northwest and l'Ecole Militaire to the southeast. With its 24.5 hectares, the Champ-de-Mars garden is one of the largest green spaces in Paris.

Origin of the Champ-de-Mars park at the center of Paris

Its name comes from the Roman Field of Mars (and thus from the Roman god of war, Mars, in connection with the neighboring Ecole Militaire). The Champ de Mars, in the garrison towns, designated a vast space dedicated to military maneuvers and parades. The size of the Champ-de-Mars de Paris allowed it to store up to 10,000 men in order of battle. It was then enclosed by large wrought iron gates.

The Champ-de-Mars park before the Révolution of 1789

It was a space in the countryside. The plain of Grenelle was devoted to market gardening.

The construction of the Ecole Militaire by Gabriel, in 1765 brought about its natural destination of space for military use. The choice of the esplanade to the north led to the construction of the main facade which today closes the Champ-de-Mars.

It is from there that the first unmanned airship took off in 1783.

But the Champ-de-Mars was above all the setting for some of the greatest celebrations of the Revolution.

The Champ-de-Mars park during the Revolution

The Revolution begins in joy with the Feast of the Federation, July 14, 1790, the "official" anniversary of the beginning of the Revolution (July 14, 1789). It was perhaps the only moment when the crowd had the feeling of being a united body, a "one, indivisible" nation.

In front of 300,000 spectators, Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord officiated (he was still a bishop), surrounded by a myriad of priests and a cohort of soldiers. Louis XVI of France swore an oath on the Constitution and LaFayette read it. The Constitution was blessed, discussed, and glorified the nation. 100,000 provincial federates among 400,000 to 600,000 Parisians participated in the Federation's feast.

Shooting at the Champ-de-Mars

But all was not all joy. Indeed a massacre took place there on July 17, 1791. It is called "the sooting of the Champ-de-Mars". The petition of the Cordeliers of July 15, 1791, is carried on the altar of the Fatherland. A crowd had gathered there to sign a petition. It was first written to go back on the decrees of July 15 and 16, which did not formally demand the end of the monarchy. The Constituent Assembly ordered it to be dispersed. Bailly, the mayor of Paris, decreed martial law, which allowed the forces of law and order to use their weapons after being summoned. While LaFayette tried in vain to disperse the crowd, Bailly gave the order to fire on the people, killing 50 people and wounding hundreds. A cavalry charge finally dispersed the crowd.

Following this massacre, the sans-culottes harbored a tenacious hatred of Jean Sylvain Bailly, who moreover testified in his favor at the trial of Marie-Antoinette. (October 14-16, 1793). He paid for it with his life and died guillotined on November 12, 1793.

Cult of Reason and the feast of Supreme Being

Today, this seems strange, even collective madness. On 20 Prairial year II (June 8, 1794), Jacques-Louis David (Painter who is well known for his later paintings of Napoleon) organized the feast of the Supreme Being (Etre Supreme) at the Champ-de-Mars. The Supreme Being was to replace the god of the Catholic religion. At that time David was an active revolutionary, a friend of Marat and Robespierre.
This feast marks the apotheosis of the Revolution. A sort of artificial rock was erected for the occasion, at the top of which stood a Liberty Tree, a symbol of unity and collective adherence to the Revolution, as well as an ancient column topped by a statue brandishing a torch. It is pure delirium. Maximilien de Robespierre presided over this festival, which had begun in the Jardin des Tuileries. His fall (guillotined) occurred less than two months later.

Under the Directory of October 26, 1795 (4 Brumaire Year IV) to November 9, 1799 (18 Brumaire Year VIII)

Under the Directoire, (October 26, 1795 (4 Brumaire Year IV) to November 9, 1799 (18 Brumaire Year VIII)), other festivals, described as ridiculous, were held on the Champ-de-Mars, including the Festival of Agriculture on July 14 and 9 Thermidor, the festival of August 10, the festival of old age, etc.

On December 30, 1793, it was the turn of the "Fête des Victoires" in honor of the capture of Toulon. (by Napoleon Bonaparte, then general)

The anniversary of the foundation of the Republic was celebrated on September 22, 1796, with the first celebration of the Olympiad of the Republic, which was to be repeated in 1797 and 1798, well before the current Olympic Games. These festivities were accompanied by races on foot, horseback, horse-drawn chariot, wrestling, jousts, and dozens of orchestras made the citizens dance.

The Champ-de-Mars park at the end of the Napoleonic period

On June 1, 1815, the Emperor proclaimed in Champ-de-Mars the additional act to the constitutions of the Empire. In this ceremony known as the "Champ-de-Mai", Napoleon reviewed his entire Guard and about 60,000 men of the Paris National Guard. On June 18, 1815, the Battle of Waterloo took place south of Brussels. This defeat forced Napoleon I to abdicate for the second time on June 22nd, 1815.

In the 19th century, a bad start for the Champ-de-Mars park

It was especially on the Champ-de-Mars park that the Paris World Fairs of 1867, 1878, 1889, 1900, and 1937 were held.

During the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1889 - and to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution - Gustave Eiffel erected the Eiffel Tower on the esplanade of the Champ-de-Mars. During the Universal Exhibition of 1900, it welcomes on its southern part the Palace of Electricity.

The architects Ferdinand Dutert and Charles Léon Stephen Sauvestre built on the same occasion, at the end of the Champ-de-Mars park, in front of the Military School, the Machine Gallery, a great Parisian monument which was very famous. It was fortunately demolished in 1909 to free the perspective towards the Champ-de-Mars.

The Champ-de-Mars also hosted the foil and saber events of the 1900 Summer Olympic Games.

The bombed Champ-de-Mars!

On June 27, 1918, during the First World War, a bomb exploded on the Champ-de-Mars, at the corner of Avenue Silvestre-de-Sacy and Allée Adrienne-Lecouvreur during a raid by German planes.

The Champ-de-Mars park today, a heterogeneous "audience"

The Champ-de-Mars has become a vast public garden, with central lawn alleys. It is extremely popular at weekends all year round for Parisians and visitors alike.

It is also particularly popular at certain times of the year:

  • on summer evenings, the lawns of the central alleys are covered with people picnicking;
  • on sunny afternoons in the summer, the inhabitants of the neighborhood come to enjoy the sunshine after work;
  • on weekdays during the school year, between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., parents and nannies from grades 15 and 7 come to play with the children after school;
  • during the main tourist periods (vacations, festivals, spring, summer), tourists visit the Champ-de-Mars in large numbers, especially because it offers a great access road and magnificent views of the Eiffel Tower ;
  • every year, on the last weekend of September, the Famillathlon is organized as part of the Family Sports Weekend festival.
  • every 14-July, Fête Nationale day, during the fireworks that are fired from the Eiffel Tower.
  • on days when certain events take place, including music concerts.

The children can also find there their account: pony rides, puppet theater, or at the playgrounds.

The Champ-de-Mars today: a place to walk, party, and rest

The big festive events at Champ-de-Mars park

Every year, on the evening of July 14 (National Day), thousands of people come to watch the great 11 p.m. fireworks display. It is preceded since 2013 by a great concert of classical music, assisted by the Radio France choir transmitted on the TV channel France 2.

It is also the place of many performances and festive activities such as concerts and exhibitions. The most memorable are :

  • On July 14, 1995, Jean Michel Jarre celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of UNESCO and attracts 1.5 million spectators, bringing together instruments and musicians from different cultures.
  • On June 10, 2000, the singer Johnny Hallyday performed a concert at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in front of more than 600,000 people and 10 million television viewers.
  • On July 14, 2007, the concert of the Fraternity, inaugurated by the President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy, brought together more than 600,000 people.
  • Two years later, on July 14, 2009, 1 million people attended a new Johnny Hallyday concert, followed by fireworks to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower.
  • On July 14, 2011, SOS Racism gives a concert in front of an audience of more than 1 million people.

The Champ-de-Mars in support of the Grand Palais

At the beginning of the 2020s, the Grand Palais underwent renovation work and for 4 years. A temporary structure was therefore built to the south-east of the Champ-de-Mars, a "temporary Grand Palais", designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte and managed by GL Events, which is due to be inaugurated at the beginning of 2021. It will host several events, including some of the events of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

Monuments and statues of the Champ-de-Mars

In your walks on the Champ-de-Mars, don't be surprised to meet also Monuments and Statues:

Dimensions of the Champ-de-Mars Park

Between Avenue Gustave-Eiffel, which separates the park from the Eiffel Tower to the northwest, and Avenue de La Motte-Picquet which borders it to the southeast, the Champ-de-Mars is 780 meters long. In width, there are 220 meters between the Thomy-Thierry alley to the southwest and the Adrienne-Lecouvreur alley to the northeast. The runners thus make 2 km per lap.

 

 

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  • July 12, 2024 7:56 am local time

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