Arc de Triomphe, Paris
Standing below the arch I was reading the many names of the battles won by Napoleon's soldiers when I had a surprise: OPORTO.
This means our Porto, a city that calls herself "invicta", which means never defeated. Where is the truth? I must go back to history and read it more carefully!
I did it:
In 1809, March 29th, the army of General Soult entered Porto without any significant military opposition, and attacked the civil population. Trying to escape to the southern bank of Douro river, people used a precarious bridge made by boats that collapsed, killing more than 4000 civilians.
Less than one month later, Portuguese and English armies fought back the French, that where obliged to live Porto forever.
Everything gets explained: in Paris it's celebrated March 1809. In Porto they celebrate from April till now. Everybody gets happy, and I celebrate the pretexts to build monuments like this one.
(I think that there's an arch missing in Porto)
The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel was built between 1806 and 1808 by Napoleon I.
This Arc is located in the Place du Carrousel on the site of the former Tuileries Palace (near by Louvre).
The Arc is richly decorated in rose marble on the columns and the front paneling.
It is composed of threes arches, a big one and two smaller ones. The arc is 63 feet high, 75 feet wide, and 24 feet deep.
Fondest memory: The bronze horses on top of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel were taken from Saint-Marc of Venice. These were later returned after World War II.
Visit the ARC DE TRIOMPHE. The queues here aren't as long as at the Eiffel Tower, and the view is still very impressive, from the top. There is a very interesting memorial at the top, and also at the base. A small but interesting souvenir shop can be found at the top.
Camera tripods and cell phone use are banned on the top of the Arc. It's entertaining watching the traffic circle the Arc on the massive roundabout with several lanes. There is quite an art to navigating on and off the roundabout.
I highly recommend saving seeing one of the landmarks to do at night - you get a whole different view of the town at night. We decided to see the Arc de Triomphe on our first night in town and were glad we did that. I also loved Notre Dame - my favourite cathedral that I visited in Europe (and there is no shortage of them!).
Fondest memory: The food. Oh the food.....hmmmm
There are a lot of landmarks & must-see- places in Paris a visitor shouldn´t miss, particularly if it's your first time there. Some may say that there's more to a city than its landmarks and I agree with that, but who does not feel in paradise when seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time?
Fondest memory: Paris turned out to be a surprise for me --coming from London-- I thought I'd seen everything I wanted to, my trip could have ended there & I wouln't have complained. But when I discovered that Paris was such an amazing city, I tried to enjoy it as much as I could...and it caught me forever...
The Arc de Triomphe on a closer view when the sun was setting as I approached the lively area of the Champs Elysees....
There are plenty of shops and restaurants to choose from in this zone... most are expensive but you can find some bargains too ;)
Favorite thing: Yes, there is an elevator and we used it with our toddler in the stroller. It will only take you to the museum and the (small) gift store. You'll have to walk about 2 more flight of stairs to get to the top for the wonderful view. The elevator is reserved for stroller, elderly, and wheelchairs.
Favorite thing: After his greatest victory, the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, Napoleon promised his men they would "go home beneath triumphal arches". The first stone of what was to become the world's most famous triumphal arch was laid the following year.
Favorite thing: Did you know that there is not only one Arc the Triomphe in Paris. There are three. Beginning with the Arc du Carroussel in the gardens of the Louvre-museum. This is the smallest of all. The famous Arc de Triomphe on Place de l´Étoile fits exactly over the Arc du Carroussel. And the biggest Grande Arche, of La Défense fits perfectly over the Arc de Triomphe. Find out your self!
There are many spectacular viewpoints all over Paris. This particular one is a place I definitely recommend - the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
The view in the picture is the one looking towards La Defense - with the "Grand Arche" in the distant centre. From the Arc de Triomphe the road system fans out like spokes in a wheel - making you feel right at the centre of things. You also are right in the line of the many monuments that run all the way from the Louvre to La Defense.
Other great views can be found at Sacre-Cour, from the top floors of the major department stores (for free) and from the Eiffel Tower and the top of Notre Dame (both of which you have to pay for.
Getting to the top of the Arc de Triomphe is 7 euros for adults (free if you've already got a museum card). It's open daily except public holidays from 10am until 11pm (10.30pm in winter). I've only tried the daytime view so far - given the great lighting of Paris after dark, I should give the nightime a go on my next trip...
The Arc de Triomphe was built between 1806 and 1814...then later between 1823 and 1836.
It is really worth climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe (all 284 steps) and watch the cars and other vehicles driving around underneath. We watched for ages waiting for an accident but they didn't even come close! It was fun to watch though!
Opening times are daily April to September 9:30 am to 11 pm; October to March 10 am to 6 pm.
Make sure you take the underpass to get to the Arc de Triomphe - it could be the end to your holiday if you try crossing the road...
Make sure you climb to the top of the Arc de Triumph it not only gives a great view of Paris (including the Eiffel Tower) but you can also watch the cars on the roundabout below!
It is scary to see those cars, buses and bikes driving around...they are totally MAD! :) I could have stayed there and watched them for hours, if we hadn't had so many other things to go and see... :)
Raised over command of Napoleon Ier, the Arch of Triumph dominates the Avenue of the Champs-Elysees. Its construction began in 1806 and ended in 1836, 15 years after the Napoleon's death.-
Construída a pedido de Napoleón I, comenzó en 1806 y terminó en 1836, 15 años despúes de la muerte de Napoleón.
Fondest memory: Inside the Arch, a small museum documents its history and construction. The price of admission includes access to the top of the Arch. The perspective of The Louvre - Place de la Concorde, Les Champs Elisees, La Defense is superb. It's one of the most beautiful panorama of Paris.-
Dentro del arco, un pequeño museo documenta su construcción y su historia. El precio de la entrada incluye el acceso a la terraza del arco. La perspectiva del Louvre, la Place de la Concorde, los Campos Eliseos y la Defense desde allí, es excelente.-
Eating creme brulee in a nice little restaurant on the Champs-Elysees, looking out at the Arc de Triomphe. I don't think you can get any more stereotypically French than that...
Also enjoyed when the shuttle bus driver asked me if I was Parisienne, which I took to be a great compliment for an Anglophone. Now, granted, he was Nigerian and probably not the best judge of my accent, but still... ;-)
Read up on your history!
1806: Napoleon ordered the construction of this triumphal arch in honor of his glorious armies after the Battle of the Three Emperors at Austerlitz.
Architect: Jean-Francois Chalgrin (1739-1811).
1836: Completion of Arch.
1840: Napoleon's mortal remains brought home through the completed Arc de Triomphe.
1885: Hearse bearing Victor Hugo's coffin stood beneath the arch for 2 full days.
1921: An unknown French soldier (symbolising the 1,390,000 who perished during World War I) laid to rest beneath the arch.
Fondest memory: Not a fond memory... more somber than anything.
The Tombeau du Soldat Inconnu (Tomb of the Unknown Soldier): 1st memorial of its kind in the world.