on January 7, 2011
The Arc de Triomphe is located at the end of the champs Elysees and is hard to miss as it dominates the local skyline and is pretty impressive looking. The Arc was originally commisioned by Napolean to commemorate his victories and honour all the French soilders who were killed in battle. Just looking at the Arc from outside is fantastic and there is so much history to see adorning it. The Friezes and sculptures that are on the facade are amazingly detailed and absolutely beautiful. Because it is so large be prepared to get a sore neck with craning it up to try and see everything. Beneath the arc lies the famous tomb of the unknown soldier which I found to be a humbling experience and seeing the eternal flame really made me feel quite emotional. I wanted to go to the top of the Arc as I had heard the view was spectacular. There is an entry fee to go up but we had the Paris museum pass so this meant it was free for us and we could also bypass the queue which was quite large. Inside there is a small museum which houses an interactive exhibit which details the building of the Arc and all the important dates of it's history. The exhibit is accessed by touch screens and these were easy to use and meant we could skip the boring parts. It was also in English which was good as some other places we visited only had information in French. After the museum you can continue on the way to the top of the Arc but be wanred this is only for the able bodied and is quite a hike at 284 steps. Once on the platform roof the view didn't dissapoint and was absolutely superb. I made sure we visited when it was dark as the view of Pairs twinkling in the night is one that really can't be beaten. The Arc is opened from 10am until 10:30pm in winter and until 11:00pm in summer and is a must for people interested in history or even those who just want a fabulous view of the city.
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