Français : Esplanade des Invalides
Français : Esplanade des Invalides (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


: esplanade \ESS-pluh-nahd\ noun

: a level open stretch of paved or grassy ground; especially : one designed for walking or driving along a shore


The whole length of the esplanade was full of people who had secured prime viewing spots for the Fourth of July fireworks show.

English: Along the Esplanade
English: Along the Esplanade (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“On Monday, hundreds of thousands of people poured onto the esplanade in front of the city’s Invalides dome, clashing with riot police, who were posted around Paris neighborhoods in bulletproof vests and helmets, as they have been numerous times during the past several months.” — From an article by Vivienne Walt in Time, May 29, 2013

Did you know?

Photograph showing the Esplanades des Invalide...
Photograph showing the Esplanades des Invalides in Paris covered in snow, which is a relatively rare sight in the French capital. The photograph was taken from Rue Saint Dominique, which cuts the esplanade in half. The gilt-bronze statues seen in the background are those of the Pont Alexandre III. The dome of the Grand Palais can be seen in the left side of the picture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The history of “esplanade” is completely on the level. The Italians created “spianata,” for a level stretch of ground, from their verb “spianare,” which means “to make level.” “Spianare” in turn comes from the Latin verb “explanare,” which also means “to make level” and which is the source of our verb “explain.” Middle-French speakers borrowed “spianata” as “esplanade,” and in the late 1500s we borrowed the French word. In the late 17th century, and even later, esplanades were associated with war. The word was used to refer to a clear space between a citadel and the nearest house of a town or to a slope around a fortification used for defense against attack. Today, however, esplanades are usually for enjoyment.


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