The Trocadéro is an area in Paris situated in the 16th arrondissement, on the other side of the Seine than the Eiffel Tower. The hill of the Trocadéro is called the hill of Chaillot.
The Palais du Trocadero was the first building erected on the top of the Chaillot hill. It was designed by Gabriel Davioud for the 1878 World's Fair. The structure of the palace was that of a large concert hall with two wings and two towers. Architecturally, the building combined elements of Moorish and Byzantine style. The concert hall housed a large organ, the work of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, which were the first organs of that size to be installed in a concert hall in France. Also, below the building, there was a large aquarium containing various fish from French rivers.
Between the Palais and the Seine, there were the gardens with numerous fountains, designed by Jean-Charles Alphand. In the gardens, there were also two large animal statues, of a rhinoceros and an elephant.
After the city of Paris was once again chosen to host the World's Fair in 1937, the old Palais du Trocadéro was demolished and replaced with the Palais de Chaillot. Three architects worked on the "moderne" design of the new building: Louis-Hippolyte Boileau, Jacques Carlu and Léon Azéma.
The Palais de Chaillot was constructed on the foundations of the former palace. Similarly to the old building, it features two wings forming an arc. However, the wings are not connected with one another by any central element, leaving a space for a wide esplanade with an open view over the Eiffel Tower. The buildings are decorated with quotations by the French poet and philosopher, Paul Valéry, as well as sculptural groups by Raymond Delamarre, Carlo Sarrabezolles and Alfred Bottiau, found at the attic level. Also, on the terrace of the Rights of Man, there are 8 gilded figures, each sculpted by a different artist: Alexandre Descatoire, Marcel Gimond, Jean Paris dit Pryas, Paul Cornet, Lucien Brasseur, Robert Couturier, Paul Niclausse, and Félix-Alexandre Desruelles.
Today, the Palais de Chaillot houses several museums, including: the Musée de la Marine (Naval Museum), a maritime-themed museum; the Musée de l'Homme (The Museum of Man), an ethnology museum; and the Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine, an architecture museum which showcases French architecture from the Middle Ages through the 21st century. Located below the esplanade, there is the Théâtre national de Chaillot.
At the foot of the Palais de Chaillot, spreading over an area of 10 hectares in the middle of which there is a rectangular pond, lie large Trocadero gardens (Jardins du Trocadéro). In the middle of the pond, there is the biggest and the most spectacular fountain in Paris. The gardens were created for the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (International Exposition dedicated to Art and Technology in Modern Life) in 1937 and were designed by the architect Roger-Henri Expert.
Inside of Trocadéro you can also find: Musée national de la Marine ,