Arc de Triomphe

21 01 2012

view of the Arch from the Champs Elysee

At the end of the tree-lined Champs Elysee is the famed Arc de Triomphe.

Celebration of battles, the site of the eternal flame of the unknown soldier, and possibly the busiest roundabout in central Paris (if not all of France), the Arch is another iconic Parisian site that is emulated in lesser triumphant arches around the world. Of course it is possible those arches might have been built first, but are any as well-known as this one?

It was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 following his victory at Austerlitz, and designed by Jean Chalgrin. Standing 50m high, it honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars. The names of French victories and victorious generals are inscribed on the surfaces of the arch, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War 1 lies in an honoured spot, underneath its arch.

Napoleon died before the Arc was completed, following capture and exile on the Island of Elba, but when his remains were returned to Paris in 1840 they passed underneath the Arc on their way to their final resting place at Les Invalides.

looking up from underneath the Arc

view of the Champs Elysee from under the Arc

the eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


If you liked this post you might also like some more posts from France…..
Arrival in Paris
Caves of Lascaux
Notre Dame
French menus
Standing Stones of Carnac
Les Grottos en France
The Louvre
Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)
Streets of Paris

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