After a short visit to the Louvre Museum, I made my way over to the Arc de Triomphe. Meaning the “Triumphal Arch” in English, the monument honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. The names of French victories and generals are inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces:
One of the main statues on the arc, La Marseillaise, celebrates the cause of the French First Republic during the August 10 uprising:
Later, I also learned that beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. I even took a picture of it without knowing what it was at the time…
What I didn’t know on my last trip here was that I could go all the way to the top of the arch. Of course I had to do it!
My journey up was kind of difficult though, because after getting out of the subway across from the arch, I was puzzled by how I could possibly get up there. Because you see, the arch is smack in the middle of a traffic roundabout with 12 streets radiating from its center. Crossing with all that traffic would have been impossible!
So after miming what I wanted back at the information desk in the subway, I learned there’s a set of stairs that’ll lead me through an underground tunnel to the arch. But I initially didn’t see these stairs because there were so many tourists blocking it. Frickin’ tourists.
Once I climbed up, the views were quite brilliant:
There’s no way my pictures could adequately capture how the streets looked radiating from the center like rays of the sun. You’ll just have to see for yourself!
It was neat seeing a 360 view of Paris. I saw a surprisingly great view of the Eiffel Tower:
…as did a lot of other people:
I’d like to think I was above all that because I took a selfie the old-fashioned way, with my own arm and thumb:
Futuristic-looking skyscrapers and buildings in the business district (and where I stayed):
The white cathedral in the distance below is the tell-tale symbol of the Montmartre neighborhood, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur:
In fact, I made my way over to the Montmartre neighborhood afterwards! But that adventure will come up in another post…(UPDATE: and here is that post!)
What Parisian landmarks have you seen, recommend, or is on your wishlist?
You know what day it is…#tbt to standing under the #arcdetriomphe in #Paris 🇫🇷 #travel #Europe #traveleurope #latergram A photo posted by Jessica @ WONDERMENTARY (@itsjpei) on
Thanks for reading!