The Cirque d'Été (Summer Circus), a former Parisian equestrian theatre (and a type of indoor hippodrome), was built in 1841 to designs by the architect Jacques Hittorff. It was used as the summer home of the Théâtre Franconi, the equestrian troupe of the Cirque Olympique, the license for which had been sold in 1836 to Louis Dejean by Adolphe Franconi, the grandson of its founder, Antonio Franconi. The cirque was later also used for other purposes, including grand concerts conducted by Hector Berlioz.
The new theatre was located on the north-east side of the present Rond-Point of the Champs-Élysées. At first called the Cirque National, it also became known as the Cirque des Champs-Élysées and the Cirque Olympique des Champs-Élysées. In 1853 it was renamed Cirque de l'Impératrice (in honor of the new Empress Eugénie), a name which it retained until the fall of the empire in 1870.
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