Views from the Grand Roue of Paris

Near the Louvre, the Grand Roue (Large Wheel) provides incredible views of the city. Yesterday, in the midst of cold and rain, we walked the ChampsÉlysées from the L’Arc de Triomphe to the grounds of the Louvre, which we plan to visit on Wednesday.

View of the Grand Roue from below

Maybe because of the rain — or people smarter than we are who were concerned about lightening — the lines were minuscule. We paid the fare of 25€ for two tickets and climbed aboard. Here are views of Paris on a rainy day in April:

Manicured grounds leading to the Louvre
The ChampsÉlysée  leading to L’Arc de Triomphe
Another view of the Louvre (Bill turned on one of the filters, which explains why the photo has an odd chopped quality —  we couldn’t turn it off.)
The Eiffel Tower in the far distance. The Luxor Obelisk (gold top) arrived in Paris from Egypt in 1833 and is more than 3,000 years old. It stands in the Place de la Concorde.
The “building” in the middle of this photo is a facade that covers construction. I love this kind of attention to detail.
The grounds outside the Louvre (background.) In the foreground are shops selling touristy trinkets like little plastic Eiffel Towers. Who would buy that crap?
Question answered. Bill wears Eiffel Tower key rings like earrings. His fashion choices are often ahead of the curve.
Bill (sans jewelry) gives the camera his 2,000 watt smile.

In the U.S. we’d call this a Ferris Wheel. It received this name because one was built by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Interestingly, it was intended to rival the newly-built Eiffel Tower, which had been the main attraction of the 1889 Paris Exposition. These contraptions are also known as Observation Wheels or Pleasure Wheels and were introduced to the United States by a Frenchman in 1848.

The earliest versions were powered by men turning massive cranks. It’s hardly a new idea — a structure like it was described in a volume of stories about King Arthur (The Death of Arthur) that dates to 1220. In that story it’s called The Wheel of Fortune. We saw a tourist map yesterday that called it the Louvre Wheel.

5 thoughts on “Views from the Grand Roue of Paris

  1. Thrilling to see and know you were riding up there taking these photos! Thanks, Bart. May your wonderful time just keep unfolding (all the way through Spain and Morocco, as well). 🙂


    1. Hi Jennie! Good to hear from you. Glad you’re enjoying the posts. Today we’re going to the Louvre, and Bill flies back home tomorrow — I remain for another three weeks. It’s going to be a gorgeous day, a nice change from the occasional rains we’ve had — not uncommon in Spring.


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