“métro, Expo, Resto”

Break out of the mould of “métro, boulot, dodo” (a French expression that, translated literally, means “Métro, work, sleep”) and get ready for “Métro, expo, resto”, as Babylangues introduces you to a new way of exploring the Paris Métro system. Join us in our quest to discover the various stations dotted across the city. How did they get their name? What are the surrounding neighbourhoods like? What can be found nearby? Some many questions and Babylangues has all the answers!

Champ De Mars

We’re putting a bit of twist on this month’s Metro-Expo-Resto by featuring Champ de Mars, a metro station that doesn’t technically exist anymore. As in the physical station itself does, but it is not used as a metro station and has no passengers or links to any metro. There are a few of these “ghost stations” on the Paris métro: stations that were either not used, badly planned, or closed in 1939 because of the German Occupation and never again reopened. Champ de Mars is an example of the latter. It used to be on the line 8 and was opened in 1913, only to be closed in 1939. Nowadays the nearby Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel station has taken its name and services the RER C.

There isn’t actually access to the station or its platforms but have a look at some of the attractions nearby instead! 

Discover more metro stations HERE.

What Is There To Do Nearby? 

  • Champ de Mars

The Champ de Mars is a large green space stretching right down from the Eiffel Tower to the École militaire. You may have seen it featuring in many instagrams with the tower, but the park is beautiful in its own right. The park is named after the “Campus Martinus” in Rome and is a tribute to the Roman god of war. However it also hints to the fact that it used to be used as a marching ground for the French military. It was built around 1765 as a complement to the École militaire but design touches such as a fountain, rows of elms and a grillework iron fence on the sides were added. Fun fact! The Champ de Mars was the site of International Expositions in 1867, 1878, 1889, 1900, and 1937. The 1889 Expo was particularly important because it was the year the Eiffel Tower was unveiled to the world.

  • École militaire

At the end of Champ de Mars is the École militaire, a site for training French army officers that opened in 1760. Its aim was to train cadet officers from poor noble families. It now houses the École de Guerre (war school) and the Institute of Advanced Studies in National Defense. It was also the institute that trained Napoleon Bonaparte in 1784. Unfortunately the École militaire is not usually open to the public, but offers free guided tours on the “Journées du Patrimoine” (European Heritage Days) every year in September.

  • Musée Rodin

As you might guess, this museum is dedicated to the works of the eponymous sculptor Rodin. It was opened in 1919 and contains not only the works of Rodin but also Camille Claudel and works from the artist’s private collection. Rodin’s works are displayed in the lovely 18th-century Hotel Biron, but also in a sculpture garden outside.