The Palais du Trocadéro


More ephemeral architecture and also another example of old exposition architecture. The Palais du Trocadéro was designed by Gabriel Davioud for the 1878 World’s Fair and until its demolition in the 1930s faced the Eiffel Tower across the Seine after that edifice had been constructed as the entrance arch for another fair, the Exposition Universelle of 1889. Davioud designed other less extravagant works for Paris, including the Fontaine St Michel which I photographed during one of my visits there in 2006.

The Trocadéro is something of a heavy-handed confection, ostensibly “Moorish” in that Orientalist fashion favoured by 19th century architects. The numerous photographs of the place give it the same quality of ghostly grandeur that so many these long-demolished buildings possess; we’re able to look at a very real place which has now vanished utterly. The bridge in the picture below still stands, however, and the balcony of the Trocadéro’s replacement, the Palais de Chaillot, gives great views of the Eiffel Tower and the river.


Previously on { feuilleton }
The Evanescent City
Ephemeral architecture
Winsor McCay’s Hippodrome souvenirs

4 thoughts on “The Palais du Trocadéro”

  1. Hard for me to imagine this in the place of the present building. It does fit with Grand and Petit Palais, though (except possibly for the towers).

  2. Hi Nathalie. Yes, it’s not so far removed from les Palais although I much prefer the Grand Palais and its wonderful glass roof.

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