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La Grande Dame At Your Doorstep

Nothing symbolizes all of Europe better than La Grande Dame — the Eiffel Tower, built for the International Exhibition of Paris in 1889, designed by Gustave Eiffel whose design won over 700 other proposals submitted in a design competition. It was heavily protested in the beginning by virtue of a petition of 300 names including such illustrious Parisians as Guy de Maupassant, Emile Zola, Charles Garnier and Alexandre Dumas.

In 1909 it was close to being razed, but thanks to its height and antenna used for telegraphy at that time, it was saved and became part of the International Time Service. French radio and French television have also made use of its stature. Six million visitors climb the Tower each year, but the number of those who have set eyes on her, but never set foot on her or those who know of her only from photos are too numerous to count. To make a small comparison, the Statue of Liberty receives 4 million visitors per year compared to the 6 million that visit the Eiffel Tower each year.

And now, as the premier symbol of Paris and all of Europe, isn’t an apartment with a view of La Tour Eiffel what we all dream of? Even after all these years of living here, seeing her always as the backdrop, I still get a thrill when I catch her twinkling lights in the clear night…or when exiting the Métro Pyrénées and you see her through the narrow passage of the street presiding over the city from one of Paris’ highest points…or when the fireworks burst above her crowing tip and light the metal from behind. I get goose bumps every time.

Properties with a view, of course, command some of the highest prices in Paris and the 7th is considered the most elegant part of the city to call home. It is the second most expensive arrondissement in Paris (to the 6th) with a reported average per square meter for 2003 of 5771 Euros. This figure is well below 30% of what you’ll actually find on the market today for a nice pied-à-terre within a good proximity of the tower. While the 7th can sometimes lack the life of other areas of Paris, such as Saint-Germain-des-Prés or Le Marais, many residents claim it’s the thrill of “la grande dame” at their doorsteps and the wonderful rue Cler market street that keep them attached to the 7th arrondissement.

Many years ago, walking along the base of the Champs de Mars at dusk, a bright pink sky laced with clouds silhouetted the Eiffel Tower in such a way that it was impossible for me not to keep my head turned to the right, my eyes focused on the tower the entire length of the street. Next to me a man walked at about the same pace. Not once did he turn to look a the beautiful lady and I wondered, will I ever become this jaded and unappreciative of the world I live in?

The answer is no.

Scroll down to see some of my favorite picks of great places to live where the Eiffel Tower can be at your doorstep every day of the week.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
[email protected]

P.S. Thanks to all you readers, I learned something new…all this time I was sure Laura Nyro had written “Dancin’ in the Streets,” — but I’ve been proven wrong by many of you well-informed folks that it was in fact the words and music were written by Ivy Jo Hunter, William Stevenson and Marvin Gaye and of course, performed by many groups, Laura Nyro having been one of them!


Each week Paris Property Picks features a range of properties which we believe are on the market at the time of writing. These properties are featured in order to give readers a sample of what is currently available and a working example of prices being asked in various districts of Paris. As we are not a real estate agency, these properties do not constitute a sales listing. For those readers seriously interested in finding property in Paris or France, you can retain our services to do the whole thing for you. For more information, visit /frenchproperty/insider/propertyconsultation.html
or contact Jocelyn Carnegie at [email protected]


Asking Price: 1,370,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee

Five rooms, 120 m², 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, elevator.


Asking Price: 245,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee

Two rooms, 35 m², equipped American style kitchen, cellar, good condition.


Asking Price: 1,995,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee

Bourgeois apartment of 7 rooms, 256 m², 5 bedrooms, 2 baths, equipped kitchen, balcony, cellar, garage, elevator.


Asking Price: 240,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee

Two rooms, 27 m², in the heart of the rue Cler shopping street, a beautiful apartment entirely renovated with quality materials on the 6th floor of a beautiful pierre de taille building, parquet flooring, molding and fireplace, sunny, 6 windows, separate shower and toilet, equipped kitchen, cellar and a view of the Eiffel Tower.


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