Arc de Triomphe
Your metro station is:
Charles de Gaulle-Etoile
Nos.22, 30, 31, 52, 73, 92 and Balabus
Charles de Gaulle-Etoile
Vers St-Germain-en-Laye / Poissy / Cergy
It is not until you see the Arc de Triomphe 'in the flesh' so to speak, that you realise its significance to both Paris and the French people - it's massive - 50 metres tall and 45 metres across and represents a great pride in their military history.
Sitting at the top of the Champs-Élysées at Place de l'Étoile the Arc de Triomphe is another iconic monument of Paris with great views from the top - if you can cope with the stairs.
It was commissioned by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1806 while he was still basking in his victory at the battle of Austerlitz and at the time dedicated to his Imperial army. Its scale was important to show the world and the people of France that his and their victories had been monumental. The style was adapted from another great empire, the Roman Empire and its similarities to arches such as the 'Arch of Titus' in Rome are obvious. Sadly the Emperor himself did not get to see its completion as he died halfway through its construction.
Today it is dedicated to glory of the French army and honours important battles, generals and victories in France’s military history. It also contains the tomb of the 'Unknown Soldier'.
To the outside world however it has become, like the Eiffel Tower, an iconic symbol of Paris.
If you want to take in the spectacular view of the city of Paris, go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe as it's location at the highest point of the Champs-Elysees makes it the ideal place.
The climb to the top via the spiral staircase (284 steps) is not for the faint-hearted...but well worth it for the spectacular views.
The arch is at the centre of a a 10 road intersection so to cross over to the arch its best to cross via the underground walkway with accesses located at Avenue Grande Armee and at the top of the Champs Elysées.
Tip: We repeat don't try and cross the lanes of traffic to reach the arch - use the underground walkways. Plus if you are looking for some respite stroll along Avenue Hoche to the delightful Parc Monceau.
Arc de Triumphe
Opening hours: April to September 10am-11pm; October to March 10am-10.30pm.
Closed: 1st January, 1st May, 8th May (morning), 14th July (morning), 11th November (morning), 25th December.
Admission : Adults € 13.00 ; children under 18 are free
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