Arc de Triomphe

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by rufusni on July 18, 2007

This arch lies at the centre of the east-west axis from Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel to Grande Arche de la Defense. The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 but problems ensued and Napoleon's demise delayed its completion until 1836. The arch is 50m tall and is covered with bas-relief and statues depicting victories. High up is a row of shields which bare the names of victories that Napoleon had in Europe and Africa.

Napoleon after the victory in the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805 had promised that his soldiers would return home under triumphal arches - but this was only realised after WW1. And then in 1920 the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was placed at the base of the arch and also an eternal flame to commemorate the dead of both World Wars. This arch lies in the centre of a very busy roundabout, known originally as Place d'Etoile because there are 12 avenues radiating out from here, (though it is now Place Charles de Gaulle). To reach the arch safely there are several subways under the road. It costs about 8 euros to climb to the top of the arch - but there is a narrow stone staircase to climb. However, there are good 360 degree views around Paris but I think there are better views to be had.

There is a metro station here with 2 lines crossing here. The arc also lies at the top of the Champ Elysees, probable the city's most famous thoroughfare, and as such worth a walk down. The major detraction is that it is a busy road with a lot of noisy traffic. There are plenty of places to have a coffee and say that you did so, however its not exactly the most pleasant atmosphere - and the cheapest option is to do so with one of the fast food restaurant who do have canopied areas at the front.

Arc de Triomphe
Place Charles-de-gaulle
Paris, France, 75008
+33 (1) 55 37 73 77

© LP 2000-2009