Arc De Triomphe
Things to Do in Paris
Image courtesy of Deposit Photos
Erected in a time when male ego was top of mind, L’Arch de Triomphe (arch of triumph, or victory) was built as an extension of Emperor Napoleon I’s heightened sense of self. Nonetheless, we have that to thank for this magnificent monument, standing 50 metres (164 feet) at one end of the Champs-Elysées.
Emblazoned with stone reliefs and sculptures, L’Arch de Triomphe is a tribute to war, to France’s military prowess, and to the generals and soldiers who fought to win. Commissioned by Napoleon himself, L’Arch began construction in August 1806.
Like another Paris landmark, the Eiffel Tower, visitors are able to climb L’Arch de Triomphe. It has 284 stairs, a long hike, or tourists may take an elevator part way up and then climb the remaining 64 stairs to the top. A word to those not familiar with the chaotic traffic of Paris: use the underground walkway from the periphery of the traffic roundabout and do not cross it on the pavement.