The street is more than simply a thoroughfare for traffic: it is a place where society comes together to attend a range of communal events.
The Emperor's car appeared.
Veiled until then, the sun reappeared at the same time. The effect was prodigious.
In the distance could be seen, in the steam and sun, on the grey and red background of the trees of the Champs-Elysées, across large white statues that resembled phantoms, slowly moved a kind of golden mountain. We could not yet distinguish anything but a kind of shimmering light shining over the whole surface of the car, sometimes like stars, sometimes like lightning. A vast murmur enveloped this apparition.
It was said that this car drew after it the whole city's acclamation as a torch draws its smoke after it.
In the Middle Ages, people often gave banquets in the streets for their neighbors to celebrate marriages and funerals, a trend encouraged by the small size of homes. Funeral processions also attracted crowds varying in number depending on the popularity of the deceased, with the undisputed record going to Victor Hugo, for whom some two million people lined the streets!