//Olympics 2024
Paris Olympics Venues: France's Historical Landmarks

Grandest Stages: 7 Historical Landmarks in Paris That Will Host Olympic Events

Landmarks from Paris’ rich history will serve as one-time venues once the Olympics kick off in July.

As it stands, France is a country that boasts a rich cultural heritage, one that’s just as well-known to an international audience, and in their third time hosting the Olympics, the country is pulling all the stops to highlight exactly that. 

For this year, a good chunk of Paris Olympics venues will be one-time conversions of the French capital’s storied landmarks, which have been a witness to much of the nation’s history. So now, the world’s top athletes will have the unique privilege of playing on these grounds on top of representing their respective nations. 

Curious as to what these are? Here’s where some of the world’s best athletes will be competing this summer.

Champ-de-Mars
Paris Olympics venues: Champ de Mars
Champ-de-Mars facing the Eiffel Tower. (Photo Credit: Timelab on Unsplash)

Champ-de-Mars is a large green space in between the Eiffel Tower and École Militare complex that served as a French military ground centuries ago. By July, it’s set to house not one, but two Paris Olympics venues.

First is the Eiffel Tower Stadium by the iconic landmark. A 13,000-capacity venue, Eiffel Tower Stadium will house Olympic beach volleyball games, and blind football for the Paralympics. 

Paris Olympics venues: Grand Palais arena
The Grand Palais Éphémère at night. (Photo Credit: Didier Plowy via Grand Palais RMN [Officiel] on Facebook)

Second is the Grand Palais Éphémère (or Champ-de-Mars Arena) which sits closer to the École Militaire Complex. While it originally housed exhibitions meant for the Grand Palais, the Champ-de-Mars arena will now host wrestling and judo matches for the Paris Olympics. 

So once the games kick off, Champ-de-Mars will have another chapter in its storied history in the form of being an Olympic venue on top of being a former military ground and a public park of sorts. 

Château de Versailles
Paris Olympics venues: Versailles
An aerial shot of the Versailles. (Photo Credit: Thomas Garnier via Chateau de Versailles on Facebook)

Away from the city proper is the Chateau de Versailles — arguably one of France’s most iconic cultural jewels. By July, its Etoile Royale garden esplanade will be converted into a Paris Olympics venue as it houses equestrian events, and the modern pentathlon.

Based on Olympic mockups, several grandstands which could accommodate about 15,000 to 40,000 spectators will be installed, on top of event-specific equipment. 

Grand Palais
Paris Olympics venues: Grand Palais
The interior of the Grand Palais. (Photo Credit: Maxime Chermat via Grand Palais RMN [Officiel] on Facebook)

2024 acts as some sort of rebirth for the 124-year-old Grand Palais exhibition hall, starting with its full restoration thanks to Paris’ Olympic hosting. 

And come July, the restored Grand Palais will stage the Olympic fencing and taekwondo competitions, alongside other Paralympic events. After the games, the exhibition hall will also return in 2025 to host its usual functions once more!

Hôtel de Ville
Paris Olympics venues: Hotel de Ville
Hôtel de Ville’s facade. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

On a normal day, the Hôtel de Ville is Paris’ longtime city hall, having housed the Paris City Council since 1357. But as a Paris Olympics venue, that city hall, and its city square Place de l’Hôtel de Ville will be the starting point for this year’s Olympic marathon.

Fitting, considering that like the city hall, marathons are one of the oldest events in the modern Olympic calendar. 

Les Invalides
An aerial shot of the Les Invalides complex. (Photo Credit: Freeman Productions on Pexels)

Into the heart of Paris’ 7th administrative district, or arrondissement, is the Les Invalides, a former retirement complex for French war veterans during the 17th century. Today, it houses a series of military museums, the French military cathedral, and a shrine for their military leaders to name a few.

For this year the complex’s Esplanade les Invalides gardens will be the Paris Olympics (and Paralympic) venue for archery, which provides a picturesque backdrop for the sport’s top athletes. 

Besides Olympic archery, the complex should also be part of the marathon and cycling routes within Paris. 

La Concorde 
La Concorde on a normal day. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

La Concorde is Paris’ largest city square, and a huge witness to tons of French history, including the infamous stages of the French Revolution. On a lighter note, it also played a role in the 1900 Paris Universal exhibition, as well as being a celebration site during France’s FIFA World Cup victory in 1998. 

For the Paris Olympics, La Concorde will be turned into some sort of urban sporting park, wherein BMX freestyle, breaking, skateboarding, and 3×3 basketball will be played. As with most venues, La Concorde will also be accessible via Paris’ “dense transportation network”!

Ponte Alexandre III
The Ponte Alexandre III bridge in full view. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A longtime symbol of France and Russia’s “peaceful relations”, the 160-meter Ponte Alexandre III bridge will be the finish line for individual cycling time trials, the swimming marathon, as well as the triathlon in the Paris Olympics.

Per the Paris Olympics site, the 124-year-old bridge also connects Les Invalides and Grand Palais together and is a “stone’s throw away” from the playing fields in La Concorde and Champ-de-Mars. 

Given this, the setup means “the entire area will be abuzz with energy during the Games.”, and is a “perfect illustration of “Paris 2024’s aim to bring the [Olympic] Games to life in the center of France’s capital city amid its best-known, most-loved landmarks”. 

Banner Image from Wikimedia Commons.


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