Champ de Mars

The Champ de Mars (French pronunciation: ​[ʃɑ̃ də maʁs] ; English: Field of Mars) is a large public greenspace in Paris, France, located in the seventh arrondissement, between the Eiffel Tower to the northwest and the École Militaire to the southeast. The park is named after the Campus Martius ("Mars Field") in Rome, a tribute to the Latin name of the Roman God of war. The name also alludes to the fact that the lawns here were formerly used as drilling and marching grounds by the French military.

The nearest Métro stations are La Motte-Picquet–Grenelle, École Militaire, and Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel, an RER suburban-commuter-railway station. A disused station, Champ de Mars is also nearby.

MG-Paris-Champ de Mars
View southeast from the top level of the Eiffel Tower, down the Champ de Mars, with the Tour Montparnasse (Montparnasse Tower) in the distance. The Ecole Militaire is one third down from the top of the picture.


Originally, the Champ de Mars was part of a large flat open area called Grenelle, which was reserved for market gardening. Citizens would claim small plots and exploit them by growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers for the local market. However, the plain of Grenelle was not an especially fertile place for farming.

The construction, in 1765, of the École Militaire designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, was the first step toward the Champ de Mars in its present form. Grounds for military drills were originally planned for an area south of the school, the current location of the place de Fontenoy. The choice to build an esplanade to the north of the school led to the erection of the noble facade which today encloses the Champ de Mars. The planners leveled the ground, surrounded it with a large ditch and a long avenue of elms, and, as a final touch, the esplanade was enclosed by a fine grille-work fence.

The Isle of Swans, formerly a riverine islet at the location of the northeastern foot of the Eiffel Tower, was, for the sake of symmetry and pleasing perspectives, attached to the shore. (Note that the Isle of Swans discussed here should not be confused with the Isle of Swans that sits in the middle of the Seine downstream and around the next bend in the river, between the fifteenth and sixteenth arrondissements.)

Jacques Charles and the Robert brothers launched the world's first hydrogen-filled balloon from the Champ-de-Mars on 27 August 1783.[1]

This place witnessed the spectacle and pageantry of some of the best-remembered festivals of the French Revolution. On 14 July 1790 the first "Federation Day" celebration (fête de la Fédération), now known as Bastille Day, was held on the Champ de Mars, exactly one year after the storming of the prison. The following year, on 17 July 1791, the massacre on the Champ de Mars took place. Jean Sylvain Bailly, the first mayor of Paris, became a victim of his own revolution and was guillotined there on 12 November 1793.

The Champ de Mars was also the site of the Festival of the Supreme Being on 8 June 1794. With a design by the painter Jacques-Louis David,[2] a massive "Altar of the Nation" was built atop an artificial mountain and surmounted by a tree of liberty.[3] The festival is regarded as the most successful of its type in the Revolution.[4]

The Champ de Mars was the site of Expositions Universelles in 1867, 1878, 1889, 1900, and 1937.

In art, culture, film and sport

Art and culture

In 2012 the United Buddy Bears exhibit was held on the Champ de Mars, an international art exhibition with more than 140 two-meter-tall bears representing individual countries. They promote peace, love, tolerance and international understanding and are displayed across the planet. They stand at Champ de Mars in Paris, fronting the Eiffel Tower.[5]

Use in film and television

Champ de Mars was used as a filming location in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill, in which Bond (played for the last time by Roger Moore) drove a Renault 11 taxi which he had hijacked at the Eiffel Tower in pursuit of a mysterious assassin, later revealed to be May Day (Grace Jones).[6]


The Champ de Mars will be the site of Beach Volleyball at the 2024 Summer Olympics and of five-a-side football at the 2024 Summer Paralympics.


Jaures-Histoire Socialiste-I-p733

Illustration of massacre on the Champ-de-Mars, 1791.

Fête de l'Etre suprême 2

Painting of The Festival of the Supreme Being, June 8, 1794 (by Pierre-Antoine Demachy, 1794).

Fête de la Concorde, arrivée des corporations au Champ-de-Mars

Illustration of Fête de la Concorde, May 21, 1848.

Exposition Universelle 1867

Photograph of Exposition Universelle, 1867.

Panorama des Palais

Panoramic view of Exposition Universelle, 1878.

Tour Eiffel exposition universelle 1889

View of Exposition Universelle, 1889.

Expo universelle paris 1900

Illustration of Exposition Universelle, 1900.


Champ de Mars at night (2007).

Eiffel Tower and Mars fields

Champ de Mars - view from the Montparnasse Tower (2010)

North end of Champ de Mars and Quai Branly - As viewed from the Eiffel Tower (2016)

The north end of Champ de Mars and Quai Branly - As viewed from the Eiffel Tower (2016)

See also


  1. ^ Medal commemorating Charles and Robert’s balloon ascent, Paris, 1783 from Science and Society, 2010.
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of the age of political revolutions and new ideologies: 1760 - 1815, Gregory Fremont-Barnes; Greenwood Press, CT, 2007; p.237
  3. ^ A Cultural History of the French Revolution, Emmet Kennedy; Yale Univ. Press, 1989; p.345.
  4. ^ Kennedy, 1989; p.345.
  5. ^ "Worldatlas: United Buddy Bears in Paris in 2012". Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  6. ^ "A View to a Kill (1985)". IMDb. Retrieved 18 October 2014.

Coordinates: 48°51′22″N 2°17′54″E / 48.85611°N 2.29833°E

2015 Haiti Carnival stampede

On February 17, 2015, starting at around 2:48 AM, a stampede occurred during the traditional Mardi Gras parade on Champ de Mars in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. Initial reports stated that at least 16 people had died in the accident. The number was revised to 18 dead (15 men and 3 women) according to the Haitian Minister of Communications, Rotchild François Junior. Nadia Lochard, of the Department of Civil Protection, stated that 20 people were killed in the accident. In addition, 78 people were injured, according to Haiti Prime Minister Evans Paul.The stampede occurred after a man participating on top of a Carnival float during the Mardi Gras was shocked by high-voltage wires. Video footage of the incident shows visible sparks that triggered the stampede. The man, known by his stage name Fantom, and part of the Haitian hip hop band Barikad Crew, survived the shock and was in stable condition.

Bir-Hakeim (Paris Métro)

Bir-Hakeim is an elevated station of the Paris Métro serving line 6 in the Boulevard de Grenelle in the 15th arrondissement. It is situated on the left bank of the Bir-Hakeim bridge over the Seine. The name of both the bridge and the station commemorates the World War II battle of Bir Hakeim.

The station is above the RER C line; the station Champ de Mars - Tour Eiffel is within walking distance.

Campo de Marte Airport

Campo de Marte Airport (ICAO: SBMT) is the first airport built in São Paulo, Brazil, opened in 1919. It is named after Champ de Mars, in Paris, which in turn got its name from Campus Martius, in Rome.

It is operated by Infraero.

Champ-de-Mars station (Montreal Metro)

Champ-de-Mars station is a Montreal Metro station in the borough of Ville-Marie in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is operated by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) and serves the Orange Line. It is located in Old Montreal by the Champ de Mars park. It opened on October 14, 1966, as part of the original Metro network.

Champ de Mars, Montreal

Champ de Mars is a public park in Old Montreal quarter of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Formerly a military parade ground, the park had previously been the site of Montreal's fortifications, which were demolished at the beginning of the 19th century soon after Montreal City Hall and the old courthouse were built. It had served as a municipal parking lot until being restored as a park in 1980s. At that time, the foundations of Montreal's city walls were discovered and restored.

The site's name commemorates its former military purpose; Mars was the Roman god of war and campus Martius was a Latin term for a military exercise ground. The walls now standing on site were built to show the location of the original walls used to protect the city.The area is bordered by the Montreal City Hall, the old and new courthouses and the Champ-de-Mars Metro station.

Champ de Mars, Port-au-Prince

Champ de Mars (Haitian Creole: Chanmas) is the biggest public park in the downtown area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It consists of a series of public squares divided by large boulevards.

Champ de Mars (Paris Métro)

Champ de Mars is a ghost station along line 8 of the Paris Métro, between the stations la Motte-Picquet - Grenelle and École Militaire. It is situated in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, to the southwest of the public garden called Champ de Mars.

Champ de Mars (disambiguation)

Champ de Mars may refer to

Champ de Mars Racecourse

The Champ de Mars Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse race track in Port Louis, Mauritius. The Racecourse was inaugurated on 25 June 1812, by The Mauritius Turf Club (MTC) which was founded earlier in the same year by Edward Alured Draper, who served in different capacities, namely as Chief of Police, Colonial Secretary, Collector of Customs, Civil engineer, Registrar of Slaves, Magistrate and Colonial Treasurer.The Mauritius Turf Club is the oldest horse-racing club in the Southern Hemisphere and the second oldest in the world. The race track follows a very selective right hand oval path and is relatively small in size, with a circumference of 1,298 meters (4,258.5 ft) and width between 12 and 14 meters (39 and 46 feet). The home-straight extends uphill and is 225 meters (738 ft) long.

When Mauritius gained independence on 12 March 1968, the event including the flag hoisting ceremony was held here. Since then and for many years, the racecourse has seen the annual celebration of the accession to independence.

Today, the Champ de Mars attracts tens of thousands of people on each racing day during the racing season from late March to early December and has become the ultimate meeting place for racing fanatics from all over the island and even from abroad. The track has also played a fundamental role in propelling horse racing as the most popular sport and form of entertainment among the local population.

Champ de Mars massacre

The Champ de Mars massacre took place on 17 July 1791 in Paris against a crowd of republican protesters in the midst of the French Revolution. The event is named after the site of the massacre, the Champ de Mars. Two days before, the National Constituent Assembly issued a decree that the king, Louis XVI, would retain his throne under a constitutional monarchy. This decision came after Louis and his family had unsuccessfully tried to flee France in the Flight to Varennes the month before. Later that day, leaders of the republicans in France rallied against this decision, eventually leading royalist Lafayette to order the massacre.Jacques Pierre Brissot, editor and main writer of Le Patriote français and president of the Comité des Recherches of Paris, drew up a petition demanding the removal of the king. A crowd of 50,000 people gathered at the Champ de Mars on July 17 to sign the petition, with about 6,000 having signed the petition. However, earlier that day two suspicious people had been found hiding at the Champ de Mars, "possibly with the intention of getting a better view of the ladies' ankles", and were hanged by those who found them. Jean Sylvain Bailly, the mayor of Paris, used this incident to declare martial law. The Marquis de Lafayette and the National Guard, which was under his command, were able to disperse the crowd.

Later in the afternoon, the crowd, led by Danton and Camille Desmoulins, returned in even greater numbers. The larger crowd was also more determined than the first. Lafayette again tried to disperse it. In retaliation, the crowd threw stones at the National Guard. After firing unsuccessful warning shots, the National Guard opened fire directly on the crowd. The exact numbers of dead and wounded are unknown; estimates range from a dozen to fifty dead.

Embassy of Australia, Paris

The Australian Embassy in Paris is located 400 metres southwest of the Eiffel Tower, on Rue Jean Rey in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, near the Bir-Hakeim bridge on the Seine. The embassy is situated on a triangular shaped block, and comprises a pair of nine-storey buildings. The Chancellery Building houses Australia's missions to France, to UNESCO and to the OECD, and the apartment of the ambassador to France; the other building contains 34 staff apartments, all with views of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower.The embassy, and several pieces of its original furniture, were designed in a modernist style by Australian architect Harry Seidler, with Marcel Breuer and Pier Luigi Nervi as consulting designers. Like many of Seidler's other works, the Embassy was built from precast modularised concrete, with a quartz and granite faced exterior and prestressed precast floors. Its two buildings are curved to form two quarter circles, the two arcs of an "S"-shaped complex, with the radii of the circles lined up to match the axes of the Eiffel Tower and the Champ de Mars.The land for the embassy, that was a part of the disused railway depot near the old station of the Champ de Mars, was purchased by the McMahon government of Australia in 1972. Construction started on the Embassy in 1975, and it was completed in 1977.

Feuillant (political group)

The Society of the Friends of the Constitution (French: Société des Amis de la Constitution), better known as Feuillants Club (French pronunciation: ​[fœjɑ̃] French: Club des Feuillants), was a political grouping that emerged during the French Revolution. It came into existence on 16 July 1791 when the left-wing Jacobins split between moderates (Feuillants), who sought to preserve the position of the king and supported the proposed plan of the National Constituent Assembly for a constitutional monarchy; and radicals (Jacobins), who wished to press for a continuation of direct democratic action to overthrow Louis XVI. It represented the last and most vigorous attempt of the moderate constitutional monarchists to steer the course of the revolution away from the radical Jacobins.The Feuillant deputies publicly split with the Jacobins when they published a pamphlet on 16 July 1791, protesting the Jacobin plan to participate in the popular demonstrations against Louis XVI on the Champ de Mars the following day. Initially the group had 264 ex-Jacobin deputies as members, including most of the members of the correspondence committee.

The group held meetings in a former monastery of the Feuillant monks on the Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris and came to be popularly called the Club des Feuillants. They called themselves the Amis de la Constitution. The group was led by Antoine Barnave, Alexandre de Lameth and Adrien Duport.

Gare du Champ de Mars

Gare du Champ de Mars (or Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel) is a railway station in Paris. The site has accommodated a total of five stations, the last of which in service for Paris' RER.

The station was originally built to receive goods necessary for the construction of the pavilions for the Exposition Universelle held in Paris in 1867, 1878, 1889, 1900 and 1937. The location was chosen as it was then a large piece of land devoid of buildings, facing the Trocadéro and the École Militaire. It was built on the street corner of the Avenue de Suffren and the Quai Branly.

Jimmy O

Jean Jimmy Alexandre ((1974-03-09)March 9, 1974 – (2010-01-12)January 12, 2010), better known by his stage name Jimmy O, was a Haitian hip hop artist who was born in Port-au-Prince and lived in New York City. He was involved with Wyclef Jean's Yéle Haiti Foundation. Jimmy O performed his music in Haitian Creole.In 2006, he and Jean held a hip-hop performance in the Bel Air suburb of Port-au-Prince that was part of the USAID-funded Clean Streets project. The following year, he and other Haitian artists held a concert in the Champ de Mars, the largest public square in the capital, along with Wyclef Jean, Akon, and Matt Damon.On January 12, 2010, at age 35, Jimmy O was crushed inside a vehicle he was apparently driving in downtown Port-au-Prince during the 2010 Haiti earthquake. His mother, his wife, two of his three children, his agent, and a CNN crew were present when Jimmy O's body was discovered and identified three days later. His agent said that the loss of Jimmy O "will be tremendous in Haiti."At the time of his death he was preparing to release his debut album Destiny in the United States.

Montreal City Hall

The five-story Montreal City Hall (French: Hôtel de Ville de Montréal) is the seat of local government in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was designed by architects Henri-Maurice Perrault and Alexander Cowper Hutchison, and built between 1872 and 1878 in the Second Empire style. It is located in Old Montreal, between Place Jacques-Cartier and the Champ de Mars, at 275 Notre-Dame Street East. The closest Metro station is Champ-de-Mars, on the Orange Line.

As one of the best examples of the Second Empire style in Canada, and the first city hall to have been constructed in the country solely for municipal administration, it was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1984.

Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts

Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts (SNBA) was the term under which two groups of French artists united, the first for some exhibitions in the early 1860s, the second since 1890 for annual exhibitions.

The Last Mitterrand

The Last Mitterrand (French title: Le Promeneur du Champ de Mars) is a 2005 film directed by Robert Guédiguian depicting the final period in the life of an unnamed French President (but the English title suggests the president is François Mitterrand). The film is based on the book Le Dernier Mitterrand by Georges-Marc Benamou.

Benamou had talked with and accompanied Mitterrand for the last 1,000 days of his presidency.

Benamou worked for a small circulation magazine called Globe - a magazine for champagne socialists- la gauche caviar in the French idiom. It is not clear why Mitterrand chose Benamou but the journalist has said they got on well and discussed life, women and literature.

When the resulting book appeared in 1997 however, Benamou was turned upon by many of Mitterrand's family and associates - even Pierre Bergé, who financed the Globe magazine called it a work of "absolute treachery" - and they would not help with the film. It seems they were particularly outraged not by revelations about Mitterrand's private life,-Mitterrand had a secret second family including the daughter he kept hidden from the public- or anything to do with Vichy, but with a description of Mitterrand devouring a plateful of ortolans. The bird is a protected species and eating them forbidden under EU law. Certain other people at the dinner called Benamou a liar saying this incident never happened. Benamou denied this. In 2004 one of Mitterrand's closest associates, who had also been at the meal said Benamou was right but no ortolans appear in the film and Mitterrand eats a plate of oysters. Benamou, an Algerian born Sephardic Jew, asserted that he had not found Mitterrand anti-semitic either in his time in Vichy or afterwards, - something that Mitterrand, who sometimes spoke of 'le lobby juif', his term for some French Jews' and their focus on his wartime record - had been accused of. Benamou defended Mitterrand in spite of his protection of collaborators like René Bousquet and Maurice Papon - "Papon became a minister under Giscard d'Estaing; he was chief of police under de Gaulle. This is not a secret of Mitterrand [but of] the French bourgeoisie and Mitterrand was an emblem of that."The film won a César award for Michel Bouquet in his role as Mitterrand.

The Volpini Exhibition, 1889

The Volpini Exhibition was an exhibition of paintings arranged by Paul Gauguin and his circle held at the Café des Arts on the Champ de Mars, not far from the official art pavilion of the 1889 Exposition universelle in Paris. A poster and an illustrated catalogue were printed, but the show of "Paintings by the Impressionist and Synthetist Group", held in June and early July 1889, was ignored by the press and proved to be a failure.

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