The Champ de Mars ( Field of Mars) is a large public greenspace located in the seventh arrondissement, between the Eiffel Tower to the northwest and the École Militaire to the southeast. The park is named after the Campus Martius ("Mars Field") in Rome, a tribute to the Roman god of war. The name also alludes to the fact that the lawns here were formerly used as drilling and marching grounds by the French military.
The construction, in 1765, of the École Militaire designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, was the first step toward the Champ de Mars in its present form. Grounds for military drills were originally planned for an area south of the school, the current location of the place de Fontenoy. The choice to build an esplanade to the north of the school led to the erection of the noble facade which today encloses the Champ de Mars. The planners leveled the ground, surrounded it with a large ditch and a long avenue of elms, and, as a final touch, the esplanade was enclosed by a fine grille-work fence.