Avenue Foch

Paris, France

Avenue Foch

Avenue Foch (French pronunciation: ​[avny fɔʃ]) is an avenue in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, France, named after World War I Marshal Ferdinand Foch in 1929. It is one of the most prestigious streets in Paris, and one of the most expensive addresses in the world, home to many grand palaces, including ones belonging to the Onassis and Rothschild families. The Rothschilds once owned numbers 19-21. The avenue runs from the Arc de Triomphe southwest to the Porte Dauphine at the edge of the Bois de Boulogne city park. It is the widest avenue in Paris and is lined with chestnut trees along its full length.

The Avenue was constructed during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III, as part of the grand plan for the reconstruction of Paris conducted by Napoleon's Prefect of the Seine, Baron Haussmann. It was designed to connect the Place d'Etoile with another important part of Haussmann's plan, the Bois de Boulogne, the new public park on the west end of the city. The original plan, by Jacques Hittorff, who had designed the Place de la Concorde decades earlier, called for an avenue forty meters wide between the modern Avenue Victor Hugo and the modern Avenue de la Grand Armée. Haussmann scrapped this plan and instead called for an avenue at least one hundred meters wide, wider than the Champs-Elysées between the Arc de Triomphe and the new Bois de Boulogne. Its purpose was to provide an impressive grand approach for fashionable Parisians to promenade from the center of the city to the Park in their carriages, to see and be seen. It was to be called the Avenue de l'Impératrice, the Avenue of the Empress, for the Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III.

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