Champs-Elysees The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world, renowned for its beauty and its upscale, expensive shopping venues and cafes. The avenue is French for “Elysian fields” which, in Greek mythology, is the name given to heaven. The avenue runs for two kilometers in northwestern Paris, from the Place de la Concorde in the east to the Place Charles de Gaulle and the Arc de Triomphe in the west. It finds its origins in 1616, when Marie de Medici, second wife of King Henry IV of France, decided the gardens of her Tuileries palace would benefit from the addition of a long avenue of trees . Thus was the Avenue of Thuilleries born. The avenue would eventually grow to become today’s Avenue des Champs Elysees. The avenue continued to gain popularity, especially among the French notables who made Paris their home. Because of its size and central location, the Avenue des Champs Elysees has hosted many notable and historic events and parades, from the infamous march of German troops after the fall of France on June 14, 1940, to the victorious entrance of French and American forces when the city was liberated on August 25, 1944. The avenue also hosts an annual military parade on Bastille Day, and provides the final leg of the famous bike race, the Tour de France.