Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Arc De Triomphe

Arc De Triomphe
Picture


Right in the middle of the Place de l'Étoile, in the heart of the great artery linking the Louvre with the Grande Arche de la Défense, The Arc de Triomphe is a key symbol in France's history. The idea occurred the day after the battle of Austerlitz and was then built between 1808 and 1835 under Napoléon's orders in honour of their 'Grande Armée' (grand army). Inspired by ancient Rome, the most monumental of the world's triumphal arches takes pride of place at the meeting point of twelve avenues, constructed in the 19th Century under Baron Haussmann's whim. It's facade is formed of figures, curls and bas-reliefs, like Rude's Marseillaise with its wings deployed.
A century on, 11th November 1920, the corpse of an unknown soldier was laid down in a tomb beneath the arch, a symbol of the many deaths of World War I. Attached to the tomb is the sacred flagstone, on which the 'the flame of memory' was lit, and which has remained alight ever since. It is rekindled each evening at 18.30. This place, notorious for huge national protests and which has witnessed the funerals of Napoléon and Victor Hugo, is made up of rooms which use contemporary scenography to tell the rich history of this national monument in an interactive way.

At 50 metres high, the final part of the visit of the Arc de Triomphe Paris, the terrace, offers a panoramic view of  Haussmannian Paris and the Champs Élysées, the most beautiful avenue in the world, a view that's as impressive by day as it is by night.

Several of ParisCityVision.com's excursions offer you the chance to admire the Arc de Triomphe: the Paris City Tour + Wine Tasting, the Illuminations tour of Paris or Discover Paris in minibus.