Monday 28 January 2013

Le Arc de Triomphe

Le Arc de Triomphe is the most monumental of all triumphal arches.  It was built between 1806 and 1836.

It is also one of the most famous monuments in Paris.  It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of Champs-Elysees.

This monument is devoted to one of France's most fearless leaders, Napoleon Bonaparte.

The arch is in honor of those who fought for France, in particular those who fought during the Napoleonic Wars.

Side view of Arc de Triomphe from Avenue de Wagram

Le Arc de Triomphe
A visit to the ground level of the arch is free, just take the underpass.  Never attempt to cross the chaotic and dangerous roundabout from the Champs-Elysees!

There are inscriptions in the ground underneath the vault of the arch which includes the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War 1, where the Memorial Flame burns.  This has made the Arc de Triomphe a revered patriotic site.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

To access the top, you can climb 284 steps or take and elevator to the mid-level and climb 64 stairs to the top.  Tickets can be purchased at the ground level.
The most rewarding thing about walking up all those stairs (and not using the elevator) is the amazing panoramic view of the city.  See for yourself!

Avenue des Champs-Elysees

Tour Eiffel in the background

It's well worth a visit, and must be on your "to do" list when visiting Paris.

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