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Champ de Mars

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If you visit the most famous tourist attraction in Paris and unquestionably one of the most famous attractions in the world, the Eiffel Tower, then you are sure to visit the nearby Champ de Mars (Mars Field), or at least a portion of it. Located in the 7 th arrondissement of Paris, the Champ de Mars (named after the Roman God of War) is one of the most widely visited parks in Paris, primarily because of its close proximity to the Eiffel Tower at the western border of the park. On the other end of the park, approximately 1 km away is the Ecole Militare, the military training facilities built during the reign of King XV in the mid 18 th century. Today is the site of the French military's institution of higher learning.

Before it became a popular park, the land was used as parade grounds and for training for the French army. The Champ de Mars was the site of the first national holiday that was celebrated the end of the French Revolution in the late 18 th century as a result of the storming of the Bastille one year earlier. One year later, Champ de Mars was also the site of a historical massacre of French commoners who were protesting against poor living conditions and the resumption of the throne of France to King Louis XVI. The crowd became so unruly that the famed French General Lafayette ordered military troops to fire upon the crowd, killing scores of people.

Depending on the portion of Champ de Mars you wish to visit, you can take a Metro subway or RER train to the park. The vast majority of the visitors utilizing public transportation will be also visiting the Eiffel Tower and the closet Metro station is the RER station conveniently named Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel. You will have to walk approximately 750 metres just to get to the Eiffel Tower so if you aren't a good walker, you should try to find another form of transportation, such as a tour shuttle that will enable you to debark right at the front of the Eiffel Tower, near the Pont d'lena that crosses the River Seine. If you are visiting the eastern portion of Champ de Mars, you can take Metro Line #8, where you will be about 200 metres from the park. From one of the three levels of the Eiffel Tower, you will be able to get a spectacular view of the entire Champ de Mars Park, in addition to the Palace de Challiot, across the River Seine, on the western side of the tower. This palace is one the site of the original Trocadero (place of trade) created for the World's Fair of 1878. The 2 nd palace at this location, built in 1937, was created for the International Exposition held that same year. The Jardins du Trocadero is worth visiting, if you have the time and energy after spending a day at the Eiffel Tower and the Champ de Mars.

Today the Champ de Mars is one of the top places to be during one of France's most important holidays, Bastille Day as the locals and tourists alike will flock here to enjoy the day's festivities and celebrations. As you would expect on a nice day in Paris, there are always crowds of people within Champ de Mars, with more than 24 hectares of land and plenty of picnic areas to choose from.
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