The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz, 164 feet high and 148 feet wide, one of the largest victory arches in the world. The Arc also honors those who fought and died in the French Revolution and other Napoleonic Wars. It stands at the western end of the Champs-Elysées, the most famous Parisienne avenue, and in the center of Place Charles de Gaulle, a HUGE roundabout for traffic. Today, national parades start and end here.
Lady Liberty leading the French people to victory on one of the pillars.
This pillar, La Resistance de 1814, commemorates the French resistance to the Allied armies during the War of the Sixth Coalition.
Le Triomphe de 1810, with a toga-clad Napoleon being crowned by the goddess of victory on the pillar behind Steve. The 4th pillar, La Paix de 1815, commemorates the Treaty of Paris.
The ceilings of the Arc have sculptured roses and engraved names of French victories and military leaders of the French Revolution and Empire. (above and below)
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I, has the first eternal flame, which is rekindled daily at 18:30 and new flowers are placed.
The winding 284 stairs to the observation deck on top with beautiful panoramas of Paris.
The Champs-Elysées, a 2 mile walk to Place de la Concorde and the most famous boulevard in Paris. (above and to the right below)
Looking south towards Eiffel Tower (above and 2 below)
View looking toward new Paris and the more modern buildings of Paris.
Looking northeast to Sacre Coeur Basilica
Victory statue and wreaths on display at the top of the Arc, one of the many highlights of our trip!