(My first day back from Sweden; I had nothing in reserve and had to go out “hunting” despite the rain.)
Between the Eiffel Tower (see previous posts) and the 18th century Military School (Ecole Militaire) you will find the Champ-de-Mars (“Campus Martius”, “Field of Mars”). From being vegetable gardens, later used for horse races and especially as a military training camp and after having hosted some Universal Exhibitions (1867, 1878, 1895 – when the Eiffel Tower was erected – and 1900) it’s today of course quite park like. (The photo from the top of the Tower was taken another day.)
It’s surrounded by some nice apartment buildings. (It seems that the prices in the neighbourhood dropped when the Eiffel Tower was built... they have risen since.)
The flowers had somehow suffered from thunderstorms and heavy rain during the preceding night. Fortunately there are some places to sit down for refreshments and to hide from the rain.
I could draw your special attention to two monuments to be found here. They are both recent; the first one is the “Human Rights Monument” from 1989 (by Ivan Theimer) , celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Revolution and especially of the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizen”. It has some Egyptian influence with its two bronze pylons, which, as the door on the backside, are covered with illustrations, signs, symbols and texts referring to Human Rights.
Several events took place on the Champ-de-Mars during the Revolutionary years, including the “Fête de la Fédération” on July 14th 1790, one year after the Bastille, to celebrate the establishment of the short-lived constitutional monarchy - a constitution grudgingly accepted by King Louis XVI -, which some then expected to be the “happy end” of the French Revolution.
The other monument is the “Monument to Peace” (see also top picture) by Clara Halter and Jean-Michel Wilmotte. It dates from 2000. The word “peace” is written in 32 languages. You are supposed to be able to leave your personal peace message electronically or by slipping your notes of prayers into some openings on the wall. The monument has of course a perfect place here on the old “battle field”.
I met a Japanese married couple and some workers on their way to climb painting the Eiffel Tower.