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  • Writer's pictureMona Elyafi

The World's Most Expensive Street is Made of 200 Million Bottles of Champagne.

If you think the most expensive street in the world is Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, CA or the Champs Elysées in Paris, France, Fifth Avenue in New York City, or even Avenue Princesse Grace in Monaco, think again!

The world’s most exclusive luxury destination is none other than the Avenue de Champagne in Épernay, France. The iconic avenue situated in the heart of the Champagne region extends over one kilometer in length and is home to some of the most well-known Champagne Houses.

Known for their magnificent 19th century architecture, these majestic buildings – Châteaux, private mansions, and residences - are elegantly aligned along the prestigious avenue and sit on perfectly manicured grounds adorned with outstanding gardens and courtyards, and breathtaking vistas of the vineyards.

The Avenue prides itself for its spectacular aboveground historical heritage. Yet what gives the avenue its supreme title as the world’s most expensive street is not what is occupying the avenue before your eyes, but rather what is hidden some 30 meters below ground. Indeed, the crown jewel of the Avenue de Champagne is the unparalleled 110 km galleries (carved by hand) of chalk cellars beneath it that preciously house well over 200 million bottles of Champagne.

The notoriety of the avenue began in the 18th Century when the road linking Paris to Germany, ideally crossing the avenue, became known as the “Voie Royale” (Royal Way). It was later renamed “Faubourg du Commerce”, and then surnamed “Faubourg de la Folie” during the reign of Louis XV to highlight the magnificence of the prestigious buildings Champagne merchants erected in the 18th and 19th centuries.

On September 2, 1849, the railway line between Paris and Epernay was inaugurated, allowing the champagne negociants opportunities to expand to new markets. In the 19th Century the “Rue du commerce” became an important economic hub. The wine trade played a crucial role in the development of Champagne. By 1925, the economic growth was such that the former “Faubourg de La Folie” (once again) changed name and was, at last, given its world-renown identity and status as the “Avenue du Champagne.”

From September 2006 to June 2009, the Avenue underwent significant renovations. With the optic to improve tourists’ experience as they stroll down the fancy avenue, the sidewalk on both sides was enlarged, and a line of trees were planted to make the boulevard even more beautiful.

Once a simple road of passage essentially used to enter and leave the town, the Avenue de Champagne is now the nerve center of many iconic Grandes Maisons de Champagne including Moët et Chandon, Boizel, DeVenoge, Pol roger, Perrier-Jouët, Mercier, and Castellane, among others.

The reputation of the avenue was deservingly elevated in 2015 when UNESCO’s world heritage committee voted to include Champagne’s slopes, Houses, and cellars in its list of World Heritage sites. In 2011 the brand “AC” (Avenue de Champagne) was created to increase name recognition and better promote the avenue around the world.

Evidently no trip to Champagne, France, is complete without a stroll on the Avenue de Champagne. But as you wander through the most expensive street in the world, immerse yourself in the rich heritage, culture, and history of this golden avenue. Remember the stories encapsulated in every single bottle of champagne at rest dormant, peacefully maturing under your feet.

It’s quite a treat … a fizzy feeling like no other!


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