Tuesday, April 26, 2005
April in Paris: L'Arc de Triomphe
Another famous Parisian landmark that duals as a giant roundabout.
12 grand avenues meet here at the star-shaped Place de l'Etoile, including les Champs-Elysées.
Commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 after victory at Austerlitz, but took 30 years to build.
Used to be the largest triumphal arch in the world (50m tall) until North Korea trumped it.
In 1919 French aviator Charles Godefroy flew his biplane straight through the central arch.
A flame is kept constantly lit at the tomb of the unknown soldier, interred beneath the arch in 1920.
A huge tricolor flaps from the underside of the arch on special occasions, like the day of my visit.
For €7 you can climb the 284 steps to the top for spectacular views over Paris...
...only I didn't bother on Saturday afternoon because the queue was too long. Maybe next time.
...or read more in my monthly archives
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