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The Etoile racecourse
From 1845 to 1855, a racecourse was set up near the Place de l’Etoile (Etoile Square), just beyond the eponymous barrier (one of the 64 toll barriers of the Fermiers généraux in Paris). It was made of wood, had an elliptical shape, and covered stands. In the centre of the track, an open-air arena 104 metres long and 68 metres wide was visible from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Apart from horse and chariot races, equestrian shows with naked amazons or historical re-enactments such as the Camp of the Golden Cloth were performed here. The racecourse was destroyed when Baron Haussmann undertook his great project to urbanise the capital.
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