La Grande Roue de Paris

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Reviewed on 01/23/2012 | 2 Reviews


Paris lying at your feet

Looking for a nice place to propose to somebody? Here it its: La Grande Roue de Paris. Catch a passenger car, bring a diamond ring, hide a bottle of Champagne under your arm and don’t forget your beloved. She (or he) won’t be able to resist.

Photo: © AFP

London has its Big Eye, Paris, La Grande Roue: located at Place de la Concorde, at the entrance to the Tuilerie Gardens, you can enjoy a ride with a breathtaking view at 60-meters-high, Paris lying at your feet. Honestly, it’s hard to find a better view of Paris. As the height changes constantly during the ride, you will have very different points of view.

From a bird’s eye view

On the north side there is Montmartre with the Sacre Coeur, unmistakable. Down at your feet Place de la Concorde with the obelisk and the Champs-Elysees leading sharp as a razor blade towards La Defense. On the other side you’ll discover the charming geometry of the Tuilerie Gardens immersed in a wintry melancholia. And all this from a bird’s eye view.

The history of the big wheel goes back to the beginning of the last century. Back then, the Eiffel tower wasn’t the only attraction of the World’s fair, l’exposition universelle. A huge Ferris wheel of 100 meters was erected and stayed until 1920. It’s said that its passenger cars were so large that, once they were removed from the Wheel, they were used as homes for French families in the regions devastated by World War II. Don’t know if it’s true, but sounds impressive. Almost 90 years passed between its construction and a taller wheel, built in 1989 in Japan (Cosmo Clock 21).

Back again

The present wheel was originally installed for the year 2000-millennium celebrations. After two very successful years, it had to leave because a socialist mayor took over the city and didn’t like the heritage of his predecessor. Meanwhile it was installed in Birmingham, Manchester, Amsterdam and even Bangkok. But now it’s back again. It usually stays from the middle of November until the middle of February.

La Grande Roue – Until 19th of February 2012-01-23
Open from 10:30 until midnight.
Admission: 10 €, 5 € for children under 10.
Métro: Concorde line 1, 8 or 12
GD Star Rating
La Grande Roue de Paris, 3.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

User reviews

  1. amzad 24 January 2012 Reply


  2. Catherine Aubin 5 March 2013 Reply

    Badly written and accepts what many find a monstrosity at face value. This Wheel in fact blocks the giant perspective (“Le Grand Axe”) that stretches from the Louvre to La Défense, and began as an assertion of the power of kings. As such, it is basic to France’s culture, indeed going back to the perspective that leads to the royal tombs at Saint-Denis — that is, to the 12th century. And beyond THAT, this perspective inspired the innumberable other perspectives in Paris, and in Washington and Saint Petersburg, cities whose leaders wished to emphasize State grandeur.

    Besides blocking this monumental view (in particular, the junk-food and souvenir stands at the Wheel’s base block it), a trimphant pop tune accompanies the ride. It destroys the very idea of grandeur. What it does do, however, is glorify the Avenue des Champs Elysées, where mega-stores for the sale of overpriced, globalized brands sprouted up toward 2011, which is when the Wheel appeared too. Coincidence?

    Last thing: it’s most unlikely that the mayor of Paris would have suppressed the Wheel (temporarily) for political reasons. The reasons for suppressing it, and putting it back, deal with commercial pressure. One needs to be less gullible than this writer is.

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