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Axe historique

Axe historique

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{{Unreferenced|date=September 2009}} The '''''Axe historique''''' ({{IPA-fr|aks istɔʁik|pron}}) ({{lang-en|historical axis}}) is a line of monuments, buildings and thoroughfares that extends from the centre of [[Paris]], [[France]], to the west. It is also known as the "Voie Triomphale" (triumphal way). {{Wide image|Paris_Axe_Historique.gif|1000px}} [[File:Paris 185..jpg|thumb|The [[Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel]], the [[obelisk]] of the [[Place de la Concorde]], the [[Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile]], and the [[Grande Arche]] of [[La Défense]], on the same perspective.]] The Axe Historique began with the creation of the [[Champs Élysées]], designed in the 17th century to create a vista to the west, extending the central axis of the gardens to the royal [[Palace of the Tuileries]]. Today the [[Tuileries Gardens]] (''Jardins des Tuileries'') remain, preserving their wide central pathway, though the palace was burned down during the [[Paris Commune]], 1871. Between the Tuileries gardens and the Champs Élysées extension a jumble of buildings remained on the site of [[Place de la Concorde]] until early in the reign of [[Louis XV of France|Louis XV]], for whom the square was at first named. Then the garden axis could open through a grand gateway into the new royal square. To the east, the Tuileries Palace faced an open square, the [[Place du Carrousel]]. There, by order of Napoleon, the [[Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel]] was centered on the palace (and so on the same axial line that was developing beyond the palace). Long-standing plans to link the entrance court of the "''[[Palais du Louvre|Vieux Louvre]]''", as the disused palace was called, with the court of the Tuileries, by sweeping away the intervening buildings, finally came to fruition in the early 19th century. Consequently, the older axis extending from the courtyard of the Louvre is slightly skewed to the rest of what has become the ''Axe historique,'' but the ''Arc du Carrousel'', at the fulcrum between the two, serves to disguise the discontinuity. To the west, the completion of the [[Arc de Triomphe]] in 1836 on the [[Place de l'Étoile]] at the western end of the Champs Élysées formed the far point of this line of perspective, which now starts at the equestrian statue of [[Louis XIV]] placed by [[I.M. Pei]] adjacent to his [[Pyramide du Louvre]] in the ''Cour Napoléon'' of the [[Musée du Louvre]]. The axis was extended again westwards along the ''Avenue de la Grande Armée'', past the city boundary of Paris to [[La Défense]]. This was originally a large junction, named for a statue commemorating the defence of Paris in the [[Franco-Prussian War]]. In the 1950s, the area around ''La Défense'' was marked out to become a new business district, and high-rise office buildings were built along the avenue. The axis found itself extended yet again, with ambitious projects for the western extremity of the modern plaza. It was not until the 1980s, under president [[François Mitterrand]], that a project was initiated, with a modern 20th century version of the ''Arc de Triomphe''. This is the work of [[Denmark|Danish]] architect [[Johann Otto von Spreckelsen]], ''La Grande Arche de la Fraternité'' (also known as simply ''La [[Grande Arche]]'' and, ''L'Arche de la Défense''), a monument to humanity and humanitarian ideals rather than militaristic victories. It was inaugurated in 1990. The network of railway lines and road tunnels beneath the elevated plaza of ''La Défense'' prevented the pillars supporting the arch from being exactly in line with the axis: it is slightly out of line, bending the axis should it be extended further to the west. From the roof of the ''Grande Arche'', a second axis can be seen: the [[Tour Montparnasse]] stands exactly behind the [[Eiffel Tower]]. The ''Seine-Arche'' project is extending the historical axis to the West through the city of [[Nanterre]], but with a slight curve. ==External links== *[http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/La_Grande_Arche.html Entry] on greatbuildings.com {{coord missing|France}}