Paris est magique!
14 April, 2014
By Panenka www.panenka.org
Beyond the obvious attractions of the ‘City of Light‘, Paris hides large and small secrets for the travelling sports fan. Pioneering and revolutionary in all senses of the words, the banks of the Seine witnessed the first final of the Europa Cup competition, the first game of football at the Olympic Games and the creation of the Ballon d’Or. And as man does not live by football alone, every year, the eyes of the world turn towards the French capital to greet the king of Roland Garros, in the Bois de Boulogne, or the ‘Maillot amarillo’ of the Tour de France, with its victory run down the Champs Elysées. Apart from the ancient Stade de Colombes, where the final match in ‘Escape to Victory’ was filmed, there are important venues in Paris that must be visited including the hallowed ground of the Stade de France in Saint-Denis and for rugby fans, the unmissable Parc des Princes, home of Paris Saint-Germain. From these terraces, fans shouted at the tops of their voices: “Paris est magique!” And how right they are: all you have to do is take the step and discover the magic for yourself.
The eleven sporting venues
1 Yves-du-Manoir The stadium in old Colombes that featured in Escape to Victory.
2 Philippe-Chatrier Rafael Nadal’s back garden.
3 Parc des Princes Home of the PSG and Luis Arconada’s nightmare scenario.
4 Stade Bauer Last home of wandering club Red Star.
5 Stade Charléty Modest home of the decadent Paris FC.
6 Stade de France The Olympus of the heroes of 98 in Saint-Denis.
7 Paris-Bercy Hard to think of a sport that has not been played here.
8 Jacques-Anquetil Velodrome Hosted the first Olympic football contest.
9 Pershing Stadium Today it’s a baseball pitch but it was the heart of football in 1924.
10 Dominique-Duvauchelle Stadium The home of US Créteil-Lusitanos.
11 Stade Salvador Allende The Noisy-le-Sec reds stadium.
Eleven tourist spots
1 Versailles It was not by chance that Louis XIV was called the ‘Sun King’.
2 Ballon d’Or The golden sphere was born at the headquarters of France Football.
3 Trocadero at night, the best place to enjoy the Eiffel Tower.
4 Arc de Triomphe Napoleon’s caprice to celebrate Austerlitz.
5 Hotel Delaunay Named after the former president of UEFA and its trophy.
6 Café de Flore The second home of Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir.
7 Pigalle Like Amsterdam’s red light district but more glamorous.
8 Hotel Ambassador Bernabéu and Hanot met to create the Europa Cup.
9 Sacré Coeur The basilica of Montmartre commanding the best views.
10 Le baise The City Hall square and a photo by Doisneau.
11 Père-Lachaise Artists’ Cemetery, including Jim Morrison.
Ilustration by Pep Boatella / @pepboatella
A perfect idea for travelling with friends! Check out our flights and off you go!
14 April, 2014