Esplanade des Invalides

Esplanade des Invalides
Metro: Invalides
RER: Invalides
Arrondissement: 7eme

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Map of the Area

The Esplanade des Invalides is a wide (250 meter, 810 feet) and long (490 meter, 1,410 feet) open lawn area on the north side of the Hotel des Invalides that extends to the Seine river.

The Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni runs north and south through the Esplanade, dividing it in two equal halves. Three other streets cross it from east to west before it reaches Quai d'Orsay at the river's edge.

Opposite Quai d'Orsay is the ornate, late-19th century bridge, Pont Alexandre III. This bridge leads to the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais and then on to the Avenue des Champs-Elysées.

The Esplanade was designed by Robert de Cotte who succeeded his brother-in-law, Jules Hardouin Mansart, as the king's architect in 1708. The Jardin de l'Intendant on the south end of the Hotel des Invalides was created using the designs of Robert de Cotte.

The Esplanade offers a wide, unobstructed view from the north of Hôtel des Invalides and across the Seine river. It is one of the more open spaces in Paris. The Esplanade is bordered by the French Foreign Ministry and the home office of Air France.

The large lawns of the Esplanade are regularly used for picnics and for sunning. On week-ends, neighborhood soccer games are common events. Roller-bladers and skate-boarders use the asphalt areas on the north end of the Esplanade.

Along the eastern and western sides of the Esplanade are rows of trees and there are many benches here in the shade. This is also where the pétanque, or boules, players meet for their games.

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