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In Paris: Arc de Triomphe

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We’re in Paris this week! Today, we visited the Arc de Triomphe, the  L’orangerie Museum, and Jardin des Tuileries. Seeing Monet’s Lillies was amazing…. but the Arc was my favorite stop of the day.

The Arc de Triomphe was built between 1806 and 1836 at the request of Napoleon 1. He told his soldiers they would “march home through arches of victory” and had this monument built to dominate the Parisian skyline and remind all of Paris of their military victories and strength. The design comes from Roman architecture.

In 1840, Napoleon 1’s ashes were placed here, and in 1944, the parade to celebrate the liberation of Paris was here. After World War 1, the monument also became Paris’ Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Paris buried the remains of an Unknown WWI soldier here in 1921.

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This is the view of the Arc de Triomphe through the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. It doesn’t LOOK that far away, but let me tell you, when you’re walking it, it is!

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The Arc de Triomphe

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To get to the top, you climb a very narrow spiral staircase. 284 steps in all. The elevator wasn’t working when we were there, so Daddy stayed at the bottom with Little Miss in the stroller.

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After spending all day walking, the climb was the last straw for these guys. This was the best they would do for a picture. No smiles for Mom! Can’t win them all! I don’t think they saw the view, because they wouldn’t stop pouting.

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The  view from the top is totally worth the climb. The Arc de Triomphe stands in the middle of a star- 12 streets radiate out from it.

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It was a very light traffic day, but it was still fun to watch! I don’t understand why the lanes aren’t marked. I’m glad this time, we took the train and I don’t have to drive here!

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Below the Arc de Triomphe is the Flame of Remembrance for the Unknown Soldier, it was lit in 1923, and has never gone out. Each evening at 6:30, a member of one of France’s veterans associations rekindles the fire to keep it burning.

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    • Um….. well, depends on how you define the main sites. We had 5 days, and I really could have used a few more. They were very full days too. If I have ONE day though, I would hit the Arc, the Eiffel Tour, and the park between the Tour and the Louvre (not climbing either, and not going inside the Louvre). And do dinner in the Latin Quarter and Notre Dame. And a river cruise to see everything else. And that would hardly touch the city.

  • The Arc de Triomphe was one of my favorite sites as well when we visited Paris! I thought it was hilarious that traffic accidents at the Arc are always billed 50/50 to insurance since so many happen there. No one is at fault and both parties are responsible!

    • That makes sense to me! I wonder if they require really high coverage too. Here in Germany we have to have a million as a minimum amount of liability coverage.