Having fun with my French family name: Grenelle

One of the most fun things for me when I’ve travelled to Paris, especially the first time, was finding my family name all over the city.

Rue de Grenelle

My family came to the U.S. from France  many (many) years ago, but our family name “Grenelle” (which was changed to Grinnell upon arrival at Ellis Island) is prevalent throughout Paris. In fact, there’s even a neighborhood in Paris named Grenelle. 

Map of Grenelle, Paris

In addition, there are streets, i.e., Rue de Grenelle, Grenelle Ave, Boulevard De Grenelle; a Hotel Grenelle; the Grenelle Bridge and Pont de Grenelle – the location where the 9m high scale model of the Statue of Liberty in New York stands, facing in the direction of New York. The Statue was given by the US to France in the 19th century for the Universal Exhibition.

Grenelle Bridge, Pont de Grenelle and the small scale replica of the Statue of Liberty

Rue de Grenelle runs from the Champs de Mars (Eiffel Tower), through the Rue Cler area (where there is a famous street market), cross the Invalid (Napoleon’s tomb), then continues to go through the Ministry area where all beautiful sumptuous old town homes hidden behind those unpretentious looking doors. It finally comes into the St. Germain des Pres area, and ends at the “Place de Croix Rouge” where the Celine’s “Taurus” statue stands.


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