Ever since Le Nôtre first laid out a promenade for Louis XIV and his courtiers, the Champs Elysées has been witness to the major turning points, upheavals and celebrations of French history. Forming a majestic backdrop to regime changes, invasions and coups d'état on the one hand, and to the most elegant and exuberant manifestations of a uniquely French art de vivre on the other, it now forms a stylish setting for the world's major luxury brands. The Champs Elysées, its origins and its development down the centuries, occupy a special place - sometimes grandiose, sometimes frivolous - at the heart of French history: a treasure store of national memories and a vibrant reflection of national identity, from the age of monarchy and absolutism to the Republic and globalisation.
Champs Elysées offers a comprehensive guided tour to the most visited avenue in France. Through major introductory articles and building-by-building studies, from the Place de la Concorde to the Etoile, this easy-to-use reference work provides a vista that is by turns panoramic in its sweep and closely focused in its detail. Founded on in-depth research in both public and private archives and written in a clear and engaging style by two historians who are specialists in the field, this unique and authoritative guide is fully illustrated throughout with an illuminating combination of historic images and contemporary photographs.