Come here at night to see the wings magnificently lit up. What’s more, on the hour you can see the Eiffel Tower’s dazzling light show from the steps.
The Trocadero represents an area north-west of the Seine between the Eiffel Tower and the Palais de Chaillot, which continues the direction of the Champ de Mars. It was named in the honour of the battle of Trocadero, a French victory over the Spanish Isla del Trocadero in 1823.
The original palace was built in 1867 for the world fair, the same event for which the Eiffel Tower was built some twenty-two years later - and for which the old palace was later demolished and rebuilt in 1937. The building is designed in two lengthy curvilinear arcs; the east and west wings of the palace house a theatre and the naval museum respectively.
The Palace has been an important location in modern history. One of the most iconic images of the second world war sees Hitler standing in front of the place in 1940 on his brief tour of the city he was soon to conquer. The UN also gathered here in 1948 to sign the universal declaration of human rights, and it had a stint as the headquarters of NATO.
The palace is well worth visiting as an epitome of the 1930s modernist style, for its naval and anthropological museums, the theatre and the huge gardens in front of the Eiffel Tower.
According to the main organisation representing French architects, the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, the palace ‘is more than just a reminder of its period for the capital, its monumental stamp sets a seal on the great urban and topographical composition of Paris.’
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