The Trocadero (or Place de Trocadero) is the large platform directly across from the Eiffel Tower that allows perfect photos of the iconic structure.
It has quite a history, dating back to the mid 19th century when the original Palais du Trocadero was built for the 1878 World’s Fair.
Then in 1937 that palace was demolished to make room for the current Palais de Chaillot. Neither Palais was occupied by royalty, but instead served as a concert hall and now is home to a number of small museums.
For those who are regular followers of this blog, you know I have a love/hate relationship with this landmark. I had a rather embarrassing encounter here on my first trip to Paris, when I was a junior in high school. After that experience, I didn’t care to see the Trocadero or the Eiffel Tower again.
But when I next returned to the city in 2006, I faced my fears and ventured once more to the site that caused me such distress.
While I knew logically the same event would not happen again (and besides, I was older and less impressionable), I was still nervous. I cautiously walked down the center of the platform, constantly looking to my right and left for any suspicious characters. I nearly held my breath as I approached the railing.
But seeing the Tower in person, rising majestically into the sky, all my fears faded away and I embraced her like a long, lost friend.
Last spring I had the opportunity to take several students to Europe, where we spent three glorious days in my favorite city. I was so excited to share this special place with them – and with my husband, who had never visited Paris before. We were all like giddy school children, staring at her with amazement and taking selfies to share with friends back home.
So while the Trocadero has a history – and is a monument in its own right – I think of it as an extension of the Tower: a place to drink in her beauty and marvel at her majesty.