F.A.Q Parigine - versione 3.0

From place Balard to Chaillot Palace


Starting point: M° Place-Balard (2 1/4 miles, 15th & 16th districts)



From place Balard take rue Saint-Charles. At no. 226, go into André Citroën Park, opened in 1992. Follow the diagonal alley. At the end, turn right onto rue Cauchy. Walk along quai André-Citroën by the administrative offices of "Canal Plus" (TV channel), situated in a building designed by Richard Meier in 1991. Turn right onto rue des Cévennes, then left onto rue Balard, where you will notice a large building, with its peculiar undulating shape, designed by Zublena in 1986. Rue Balard ends on the roundabout of Mirabeau Bridge (Baudelaire immortalized this bridge in one of his best-known poems). The building which is now a RER station dates back to 1889.


Follow the "Front de Seine", studded with tall buildings, put up between the 1960s and 1990, to the Grenelle Bridge, where a copy of the Statue of Liberty stands. Reach the middle of the bridge and go down the steps to allée des Cygnes (Swans' alley), an artificial island created in 1825, as a dam for the Grenelle port. It is 930 yards long, shaded by a double row of lime-trees, acacias, poplars and chestnut-trees. It is one of the city's quietest spots.


Turn left at Bir-Hakeim Bridge, which used to be the Passy viaduct, built in 1903-05, and named after a 1942 French victory in Libya. Walk under the famous Art Nouveau cast iron pillars holding the aerial Métro and cross the footbridge above avenue du Président Kennedy.


Go up rue de l'Alboni (you can use the escalator on the right of the Métro station), to place de Costa Rica. At the beginning of the street, notice the twin buildings with their domes: before being divided into flats, they were hotels put up to welcome visitors to the 1900 Universal Exhibition.


From the square you can enjoy a splendid view over the Seine.


Cross boulevard Delessert and take rue Benjamin-Franklin, retracing a pathway which already existed in 1731.


At no. 8, Georges Clemenceau's former residence has been turned into a museum (open Tue-Thu-Sat-Sun, 2-5 p.m.). At no. 17, stands a fine building dating back to 1928, with its characteristic bow-windows. The street's best known building, however, is due to the Perret brothers (25bis, 1904), true manifesto of modern architecture. Le Corbusier regarded it as a "milestone of the modern age".


At the end of rue Benjamin-Franklin, on the left, you will find square de Yorktown, a small public garden where an expressive statue of the versatile American has been erected. Benjamin Franklin lived near here, on rue Raynouard. On the right stands Chaillot Palace, looking onto the Trocadéro Terrace. This wide esplanade is always crowded with tourists and roller-skaters. It offers one of the city's nicest panoramas (Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, École Militaire, etc.). The equestrian statue (1951) in the middle of the square is a memorial to Marshal Foch.


End of walk: M° Trocadéro



Additional note: Honoré de Balzac's last residence can be visited at 47, rue Raynouard (10 a.m. - 5.40 p.m., closed Mondays, tel. 01 55 74 41 80, M° Passy, free entrance). This small house is one of the very few remnants of old Passy. Its garden has a pleasant, timeless atmosphere.