Many of us must be aware of the famous Avenue des Champs-Elysees which is famous around the world for its real estate. To the west of the Champs-Elysees lies The Arc de Triomphe, one of the most visited places in Paris.It gives a spectacular over view of the city, better than the Eiffel Tower.
Undoubtedly, The Arc de Triomphe is amongst the most famous monuments in Paris today. Standing in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, the Arc is located on the right bank of the Seine River. Napoleon commissioned the arch as a tribute to the French Army after the victory at Austerlitz. The Arc de Triomphe was completed in 1836 in the reign of King Louis-Philippe I.
The grand arch which is 164 feet tall and 72 feet wide is situated at the end of the Avenue des Champs Élysées. The structure of the arch comprises of a simple arch along with a vaulted passageway. 12 avenues including the Champs-Elysees emanate from Arc de Triomphe.
The arch is a symbol of pride and prestige and hence it hosts national commemorations on a regular basis. To mark Bastille Day (an English name to French National Day), a number of events are hosted here.
The arch is abundant with sculptures by Antoine Etex, Francois Rude and Jean-Pierre Cortot. Haussmann's design of 12 avenues can be seen from Crowning the Arc de Triomphe, all of which are placed in a perfect straight line. There is a Tomb of Unknown Soldier where one can find an eternal flame which is the first eternal flame which was lit in Western Europe since older times and it burns in the memory of the dead soldiers who were not identified from World War I and World War II. Being such a prestigious place, many greats like President John F.Kennedy have paid their respect at the tomb. Tour De France race also marks it finishing line at The Arc de Triomphe and hence this is the main reason it is famous all around the world. There is a great view in the evening at the Arc.
In order to get to the top of the monument, tourist have to climb more than 280 steps, which becomes grueling as you have to sweat a lot. Elevators are also present for the physically disabled people. There is a small museum and also a gift shop present at the top for the visitors.
One can reach here by Metro lines 1,2 and 6 by reaching at Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile station nearby. By bus one can take lines 22, 30, 31, 52. People travelling from RER can take line A and reach Charles de Gaulle Etoile station. The Arc de Triomphe is opened from April to September at 10 am to 11 pm while from October to March its timing changes to 10 am to 10.30 pm