Rue de Rivoli

A long street of commercial importance, the Rue de Rivoli is a popular street in Paris. While not wide as les Champs Élysées, the street is of considerable width, and a business-minded street, with some of the big brands in the world having shops on it. This is where its prominence is rooted from, together with its proximity to monumental areas such as the Louvre, Palais Royal and Opera Garnier. With the presence of some of the most fashionable names in the world, Rue de Rivoli hardly lacks high-profile shoppers who not only shop, but dine in the array of cafes and restaurants available on the street.

The origin of the Rue de Rivoli is traced with Napoleon, who after his victory in 1757 had the inspired idea of creating a street that would extend from Place de la Concorde. The street which was later created, and whose name was derived from his victory at Rivoli, stemmed from the eastern side of the Place de la Concorde. Napoleon was not able to live long enough to see the completion of the street. King Charles X took over, and then King Louis Philippe continued with the construction process. It was until the reign of Emperor Napoleon III that the street was completed, with the end point being at the Marais. The long stretched street, spanning over a length of 3km was completed in 1848.

The Rue de Rivoli presents a blend of urbanism, with the contemporary designs exhibited by some buildings along its length, and traditionalism, well expressed by the monuments and squares which are representative of an aristocratic age. Conveniently located in the heart of Paris, the street offers a lot of interesting things, besides the aforementioned world-class stores. A good place to start exploring the street from is Place de la Concorde. It’s the largest public square in Paris and offers attractions such as the Obelisk and the Fountains de la Concorde. In addition, it marks the end of the other, and possibly the most famous street in Paris, the Champs Élysées.

The Rue de Rivoli has the Musee du Louvre, at least the north wing of it. Not only is it a historical monument declared so by the City of Paris, it is the world’s most visited art museum. Of course being described as such would suggest that it is a big establishment, which it actually is. The Louvre boasts of being one of the largest museums in Europe, and by extension, the world. Its iconic glass pyramid is magnificent, and a nice place to take a picture or two if you are simply visiting. North of the Louvre is the Palais Royal which has a well built garden that provides a serenity that is rare when you are on the busy street. The rue de Rivoli passes along the northern edge of the Tuileries garden as well. Providing a scenic atmosphere to pass the time, met or simply relax, the Jardin des Tuileries is a public attraction for both Parisians and tourists, and an amazing place to take a break and enjoy some entertainment.

Where the Grands Boulevards meet north of the rue de Rivoli is another square, where the Opera Garnier was built. Displaying a unique Neo-Baroque architectural style, the Opera Garnier is quite the attraction, with its Grand Staircase, numerous chandeliers, and acoustically balanced auditorium. At the center of the Rue de Rivoli, where the street meets the Rue de Pyramides is the Place des Pyramides. It’s a large public square which houses a gilded bronze statue of Joan of Arc, one of the patron saints of France.