Arc de Triomphe

Looking down the Champs-Elysees at the Arc de Triomphe

The first day I was here I walked down the Champs-Elysees and got my first glimpse of the Arc de Triomphe way at the far end. I was so excited to see it again that I walked an hour from my apartment in horrible shoes to reach it, then realized that I had obtained some very painful blisters. Guess what? It then occurred to me that I had to walk back because I had absolutely no money with me for the Metro or a taxi. I hadn’t planned on walking to it that day, but in all my excitement I just took off and headed that way. Live and learn, right???

 

View across the street from the Arc de Triomphe

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The Arc de Triomphe is located at the end of the Champs-Elysees. It is the world’s biggest triumphal arch! It is 161 ft. high and 144 ft. wide.  There are a dozen streets that radiate from the center of the Arc, which makes it Paris’s busiest traffic hub! The roundabout has been called “vehicular roulette” by many. It is quite a site to watch people driving in this area. They just drive all over…swerving in and out of traffic. There are no lines (as you can see in pic) on the streets around this area (or in most of Paris for that matter) so people just go like crazy. It is entertaining to say the least!

Looking up at the Arc de Triomphe

 

The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to celebrate the victories of his Grand Armee. It wasn’t completed until 1836.

To reach it you have to walk through an underground passage.  No pedestrian traffic is allowed to cross on the street. Trust me when I say that you would not survive!!

Underground passage to the Arc de Triomphe

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