It might be controversial, but to my mind you can’t beat the views of Paris that you get from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. From Sacre Coeur to La Défense, the Louvre and of course, the Eiffel Tower, the panoramas are the best. Sure, you might get higher if you’re up the Eiffel Tower… but then you can’t see it! On Zoe’s last trip she hadn’t made it to the top, so we made a special point of visiting on our way to dinner on our second day, to soak up these gorgeous views.
The Arc de Triomphe is located at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, with a clear view down to the Louvre on one side and La Défense on the other. It is in the middle of a crazy roundabout where twelve avenues meet, and under no circumstances should you try to cross the road to reach it! There are subways on either side to allow you to visit without risking death on the way.
The Louvre and the Champs-Élysées
The Arc de Triomphe was built for Emperor Napoleon to celebrate his victories, although it took over 30 years before it was completed in 1836. Over the decades it has been a famous rallying point for victory marches, including by the Germans and then the Allies in World War II.
Almost identical to the shot I took on my last visit six years ago!
Inside the Arc there are exhibitions on the history and significance of the structure. At road level, you can admire all of France’s victories inscribed on the inside, or contemplate the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. I was fascinated to learn that when it was lit on Armistice Day in 1920, this was the first eternal flame to be lit in Western and Eastern Europe since the Vestal Virgins’ fire went out in the fourth century. Now found in many cities, these flames burn in memory of those who have died in war and never been identified.
Down the windy staircase!
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
If you’re planning a visit to Paris, definitely make sure to take the trip to the Arc for the best views over Paris! For more information, including visiting times and ticket prices, click here.
It’s that time again – Travel Tuesday! Every week my wanderlust increases with all the amazing stories from all over the globe. Last week my favourite post was Deepti’s post about the Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima, Japan. I haven’t yet visited Japan and her stunning photos made me want to drop everything to get there immediately! Got a fabulous travel story of your own? Share it below!
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