Arc de Triomphe, Paris

4.5 out of 5 stars 402 Reviews

Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France +33 1 55 37 73 77

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    Triumph Arc

    by mindcrime Updated Feb 1, 2011

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    Our first day in Paris started at Triumph Arc (pic 1).

    It is a really big Arc that dominates the center. Napoleon commissioned it after his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805 but it finished in 1836 when he was already dead! Its the largest in the world at 50 metres high. There is a Tourist Info near in case you stil dont have a map

    The first thing we did was checking the tomb of the unknown soldier that lies under the Arc and the never-ending fire (pic 2). Along the walls There are a lot of engravings showing battles, and hundreds of names most of them are French generals etc.

    Then we bought our ticket and walked up, there is a small museum before the terrace, nothing special but it was helpful to recover after climbing 283 steps :) It is strange to see figures like Alexander the Great but Napoleon was obsessed with greeks and roman conquerors.

    The best part of course is at the top where you can enjoy a 360’ view over the city, checking the madness along the 12 avenues that start from here (one of them is Champs Elyesses) taking pictures of us with Eiffel Tower at the background etc

    The Arc is open to the public 10.00-23:00(22:30 in winter)

    The entrance fee was (January 2011) 9,5 euros but we payed 7,5euros because we had the Paris Visite. Those who are under 26 get inside for free.

    Triumph Arc tomb of the unknown soldier view from Triumph Arc Arc de Triomphe
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    Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile

    by goodfish Updated Apr 2, 2013

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    If you are doing the L'Axe Historique walk mentioned in my previous review, you'll run smack into this one. Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile was one of Napoleon's additions to the axis and commemorates those who gave life and limb in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. It's the second-largest triumphal arch in the world (the largest is in North Korea) and anchors the middle of a star (etoile) of 12 avenues that radiate out from the center of Place Charles-de-Gaulle Etoile. The funeral procession for the Emperor himself passed beneath its arms, and the remains of French literary hero, Victor Hugo, rested here before his interment in the Pantheon. Today the arc embraces France's Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier and Eternal Flame. It is the beginning point of the annual Bastille Day parade, and finish line for the Tour de France.

    On top of the arc is a viewing platform that provides wonderful views of Champs Elysées and other avenues stretching away from the your perch high above the center of the square. You have to climb 284 steps to get there but the reward outweighs the effort!

    As this is one of the few attractions in Paris that is open late into the evening, it's a great one for visiting when other museums and churches have closed for the day. We unfortunately did our climb on a drizzly morning and didn't make it back for a nighttime perspective but c'est la vie: next trip!

    Entrance to the arc is included in the Paris Museum Pass, otherwise reference this website for hours, closings and entrance fees:

    http://arc-de-triomphe.monuments-nationaux.fr/

    And here is some nice background (don't use for entry fees/hours):

    http://www.arcdetriompheparis.com/

    Fun fact: In 1919, one daring (or crazy) Charles Godefroy flew his biplane under the Arc.

    Be aware: do NOT try to cross the traffic roundabout unless you have a death wish. Reach the thing in one piece via underground tunnel; there is one on the north side of the Champs Elysées and another on north side of Avenue de la Grande Armee. The Arc has an elevator for elderly or physically challenged visitors but it was out of service when we were there, and it accesses only the museum level. You must be able to climb a flight of 40 or so steps to the top viewing platform. Pedestrian tunnels reaching the arc also involve a fair amount of steps.

    Arc de Triomphe Eiffel from the top of the Arc Arc de Triomphe The way up Detail, Arc de Triomphe
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    Arc de Triomphe

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 16, 2006

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    The huge arch, erected by Napoleon in 1806, was dedicated to the French Army and was inaugurated in 1836.

    The Arch bears the names of famous persons which influenced the country's history and was witness to important events such as the last honors to Victor Hugo or the parade of victorious French troops of the First World War.

    To go up to the platform roof you have to climb 284 steps and pass through the exhibition presenting the history of the monument and also significant moments in the history of France.

    Opening hours:
    - Summer months: 10:00-23:00
    - Winter months: 10:00-22:30
    Last admission 30 min before closing.

    Arc de Triomphe by night Entrance to Arc de Triomphe Stairs to Arc de Triomphe Arc de Triomphe View of Champs-Elysees from Arc de Triomphe
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    Architecture : L'Arc de Triomphe

    by bpacker Updated Aug 22, 2006

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    After you've done your last bit of shopping and reached the end of the Champs Elysees, the grand l'Arc de Triomphe (The Arch of Triumph) will greet you in a truimphant glow of yellow light.The first sight of this giant monument will be startling. Understandably so , since it is the largest arch in the world, anyway!

    Of course, don't be daft and try to brave the mad traffic surrounding the arch. If you need to know, it is surrounded by 12 great avenues converging in a star shape so that there'll be a crazy carousel of French driving there. Brave it and the next gate that you'll see is the one by St Peter's. Haha!

    Tip: In my opinion, the Arc de Triomphe offers a fantastic perspective of Paris and the star shaped convergence of all the roads.

    %On hindsight: This is probably just my opinion, but I noted that this giant thing boasts the victories of the little emperor ( Napoleon ) and apparently ignores his exile, imprisonment and early death..

    A truimphant glow of yellow light!

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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    Arc de Triomphe

    by mallyak Written Aug 14, 2008

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    The Triumphal Arch dates back to 1806, when Napoléon commissioned Chalgrin to build an arch to the glory of the French Army. Construction on the Arch began in 1806, restarted in 1825, and was not finished until 1836. The Arc de Triomphe is built on the model of ancient Triumphal Arches, but it stands alone because of its monumental size: 50 meters tall and 45 meters wide (164 by 148 feet). The four magnificent high reliefs are crowned by Rude's masterpiece, "The Departure of the Volunteers in 1792".

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    A great monument to the memory of soldiers

    by Jefie Updated May 12, 2007

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    When my friend Linda (VTer 36waterfalls) told me she would come to Paris to spend a day with me, I asked her what she would like to do while in Paris and since going up the Arc du Triomphe was one of the things she hadn't done, we decided to do it together!

    The Arc du Triomphe is one of Paris's most recognizable monuments. Sitting at the center of the Place de l'Étoile-Charles de Gaulle, its history dates back to 1806, when Napoleon laid out the cornerstone of what was supposed to be a monument to the glory of his army. However, by the time Napoleon's Empire fell, the Arch still hadn't been completed. It was finished under Louis-Philipe in 1836 and now serves to honour all French soldiers and commemorate France's victories. In 1920, on Armistice Day, the tomb of the unknown soldier was added at the foot of the Arch, next to an eternal flame that burns in memory of all those who were killed during the two World Wars and haven't been identified.

    The Arc du Triomphe is over 50 m tall and 45 m wide. It is possible to go up to the top of the Arc (after climbing quite a few steps!) for a great view of the Champs-Elysees, but Linda and I both prefered the view from the Arc du Triomphe to the Grand Arche de la Defense, which sits at the center of Paris's business district. It's also quite interesting and impressive to watch cars manoeuvre the large roundabout that surrounds the Arc du Triomphe!

    You can go up the Arc du Triomphe during the day or during the evening, every day of the week. Admission costs 8 Euros but you can use your Museum Pass if you have one.

    Linda and I, in front of the Arc du Triomphe Tomb of the unknown soldier and the eternal flame Le Grand Arche de la Defense, on the Historic Axis Underneath the Arc du Triomphe
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    View from the Arc de Thiumphe

    by GentleSpirit Updated Mar 11, 2013

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    If you go to the viewing platform, the view from the Arc is magnificent!. Save yourself some money, skip the top of Eiffel Tower.

    To get to the viewing platform you will have to pay 9 euro. When I went it was free on the Paris Card. There is a small museum with history of the construction of the Arch, which can safely be skipped unless you have an burning interest in it.

    You then go up the stairs. There is now an elevator so you don't have to struggle with all those stairs anymore! The view from the terrace is magnificent!

    Champs Elysses (from the Arch de Triumphe)
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    Triumph arch

    by ruki Updated Nov 6, 2008

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    It’s located at the western end of the Champs Elysees in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle. This triumphal arch is dedicated people who fought for France during the Napoleonic Wars. On the top and inside of the arc there are all the names of generals and war battles. Under the arc is the tomb of the unknown solder from I World War.
    From the top you will have amazing view of the Paris.

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  • doug48's Profile Photo

    arc de triomphe

    by doug48 Written Jul 21, 2006

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    after napoleon's victory in the battle of austerlitz in 1805 he commissioned the arc de triomphe to commemorate that event. the arch was not completed until 1836. the tomb of the french unknown soldier from WWI is buried under the arch. the arch has several interesting reliefs, "the battle of aboukir", "the triumph of napoleon", "departure of the volunteers", "general marceau's funeral" and "the battle of austerlitz". a viewing area on the top of the arch is open 10:00AM to 10:30PM.

    arc de triomphe
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    You just have to see #2

    by tiabunna Written Jun 3, 2006

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    If the Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris, the Arc de Triomph must be a close second. Commenced by Napoleon in 1806, he was long gone before it was finished in 1836. It is interesting that it remains incomplete: the original intention was to add something atop it, as with the Arc de Carrousel in the Tuilleries Gardens, but the question of what should be placed there was never resolved. Beneath the Arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, France’s main war shrine.

    Again, this already is well covered with good VT tips. It is easily found where the major road, the Champs Élysées, finishes at the Place de Gaulle (formerly Place de l’Étoile).

    Champs ��lys��es and Arc de Triomphe
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  • CALSF's Profile Photo

    Arc de Triomphe

    by CALSF Updated Jan 21, 2005

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    Built by Napoleon to commerate his military victories, the Arc de Triomphe is visited by everyone who visits Paris.

    Located in the center of one of the most congested yet famous intersections-Charles de Gaulle Etoile-in Paris, the Arc is Like the Eiffel Tower, a huge must-see!

    You can admire its rooftop view which is 164 feet above ground level. From there you will see what the 'Etoile' means. There are twelve spokes of the etoile or star, each spoke an avenue. The most famous avenue, of course, is Ave. Champs Elysees. At another end you can see Place de La Concorde while at the other end you can view La Grande Arche de La Defense.

    However, please do take the time to pay respects to the tomb of the unknown soldier on ground level.

    On my last visit I walked to the Arc de Triomphe. On the way back to the hotel in a taxi, the taxi went around Pl. Charles de Gaulle Etoile. In the middle of all that huge crazy traffic were a couple crossing the roundabout oblivious to the fact they could get hit by the cars!

    Arc de Triomphe, Jan. 2005

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  • black_mimi99's Profile Photo

    Arch of Victory

    by black_mimi99 Written Dec 24, 2007

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    Twelve major roads radiate in every direction from a large arch called the Arc de Triomphe (the "arch of victory"). To visit this monument you need to walk through an underpass.

    Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the construction of the Arc de Triomphe after his most important victory, at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. He promised his soldiers that would march through great arches when they returned home. Although construction was begun soon after that, in fact the Arc de Triomphe was not completed until 1836. The names and images carved on the monument relate mainly to Napoleon's generals and the battles which he won. However, the image which you can see on the bottom right as you look at the arch from the Champs Elyseés is from the period just before Napoleon came to power: it shows volunteers leaving to defend France in 1792, shortly after the French Revolution.

    After World War One it was decided to bury here the body of an unidentified French soldier who had died in the trenches. This is known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and represents all of the people who died fighting on the side of the French. The inscription reads "ici repose un soldat francais mort pour la patrie 1914-1918" ("here lies a French soldier who died for his country 1914-1918"). There is also an Eternal Flame: every evening it is looked after to make sure that it continues to burn.

    It is one of the most beautiful buildings inFrance!

    mi's

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  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Arc de Triumphe

    by GentleSpirit Updated Mar 11, 2013

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    Inaugurated in 1836, The Arc honors the French soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. It is a huge structure, immediately recognizable at the end of the Champs Elysses.

    On it are inscribed the great battles won and the significant soldiers.

    If you want an excellent view of Paris, the viewing balcony at the Arc is one of the better ones.

    The Arc de Triomphe is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. from April 1 to Sept. 30, and from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. from Oct. 1 to March 31. A full-price ticket costs euro9 (US$13).

    The Triumph of 1810 The Battle of Aboukir
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    In Rememberance of the French Army

    by nar137 Updated Jul 8, 2009

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    If you take a long stroll along the Champs Elysees Avenue, it will end at the Arc de Triomphe. This monument commissioned by Napolean on 1806 was completed on 1836 to glorify the French Army.

    The names of all the generals and wars fought by France was etched inside and at the top of the Arc, and underneath the arc, located the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    There's an underpass connecting the Arc from the north side of the Champs Elysees. Don't ever try to cross the street as the Arc was located in the middle of a big roundabout connecting 12 avenues.

    Opening Hours: Apr 1 - Sep 30, 10a.m - 11p.m; Oct 1 - Mar 31, 10a.m - 10.30p.m
    Closed on Public Holidays : Jan 1, May 1, May 8 (morning), July 14 (morning), Nov 11 (morning) and Dec 25

    Arc de Triomphe in the Dusk Eternal Flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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  • MedioLatino's Profile Photo

    Arc de Triomphe - Worth to walk up

    by MedioLatino Updated May 9, 2005

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    Arc de Triomphe - another thing not to miss during your Paris visit, no question about it.

    Take a look at it from the end of Champs Elysées, get there by the subway (Do never try to cross the craziest roundabout of Paris! :) and walk around to see "La Marseillaise" the Tomb of the unknown soldier and the building itself.

    Take the time to walk up to have a beautiful view of the Champs Elysées, Place de la Concorde, Tour Eiffel (obviously :) and the whole city. If you walk around you can see all the 12 (!) avenues and streets starting from the Place Charles de Gaulle.

    There is also an exposition about the history and the construction of the Arc inside the building.

    Price of the visit to the top is 7 EUR. Other prices and more details on the homepage.

    Arc de Triomphe seen from the Champs Elys��es

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