Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

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:

Arc de Triomphe names

Arc de Triomphe Paris

Arc de Triomphe Paris

One of the main statues on the arc, La Marseillaise, celebrates the cause of the French First Republic during the August 10 uprising:

La Marseillaise
Above the volunteers is the winged personification of Liberty. This group served as a recruitment tool in the early months of World War I and encouraged the French to invest in war loans in 1915–16.

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…

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Arc de Triomphe
I found the concept of that eternal flame to be pretty cool. It burns in memory of the dead who were never identified in both world wars.

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!

It was a good place to get a picture with the arch, though!

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:

Top of Arc de Triomphe Paris

Top of Arc de Triomphe Paris
I still haven’t figured out what’s that gold-capped, domed building. What is it?!

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:

Eiffel Tower Arc de Triomphe

…as did a lot of other people:

Tourists Arc de Triomphe
This selfie-stick trend CRACKED me up!

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:

I told you you’ll see more selfies with this tower ? #Paris #Europe #travel #eiffeltowerselfie #arcdetriomphe #wondermentary

A photo posted by Jessica @ WONDERMENTARY (@itsjpei) on

Futuristic-looking skyscrapers and buildings in the business district (and where I stayed):

Paris Business Distric Arc de Triomphe

Top of Arc de Triomphe Paris

The white cathedral in the distance below is the tell-tale symbol of the Montmartre neighborhood, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur:

Top of Arc de Triomphe Paris

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!


  • Valerie

    Such an awesome monument! It’s so difficult to take a good photo of it because of all the traffic around but you did a fantastic job. I had no idea the view from there was this good! I’m going to have to go back and check it out now! xx

  • Beautiful photos of the Arc! And your selfie stick pic cracked me up – so ridiculous looking! The gold dome is Invalides – Napoleon’s tomb is under the dome 🙂

    • Omg thanks for revealing that mystery! I’ve been wondering what it was ever since seeing it from the Eiffel Tower.

  • Ting

    These photos are so pretty! xo

  • Kim

    The Arc is definitely on my wishlist for the next time I visit Paris! It’s so cool that you can go up and see the views! I’m totally going to pack a selfie stick the next time I travel and join the selfie stick group of tourists there lol

  • Pingback: Snapshots: Paris - WONDERMENTARY()