Knowledge is Power!
There are various different monuments in Paris that you will visit and plenty of those monuments were designed well before the foremost well known and noted landmark in Paris, the Eiffel Tower, thus if you wish nice views or one thing completely different however still with much history, then a visit to the Arc de Triomphe is a must.
Known as a triumphal arch, after the Battle of Austerlitz, it had been the idea of Napoleon Bonaparte to have an impressive arch constructed as a significant monument in Paris to honour the victories of his Grande Armee, and the grand arches of ancient Rome were his inspiration for its construction.
Additionally there is rich history of the Arc de Triomphe right from the beginning, not forgetting the history of the Unknown Soldier and the fact that this unbelievable monument is a venue for national events that happen in Paris. And one such event is that the military parade held on 14th July annually that starts from the Arc de Triomphe down the foremost acknowledged avenue within the world, the Champs Elysees. Also, this is often a major landmark in Paris for those on the renowned Tour de France cycle race, as they know they are close to the finish line on the Champs Elysees once this triumphal arch comes into sight.
With its unbelievable and extremely spectacular size of almost fifty metres high, forty five metres long and twenty two metres wide, you will get fabulous views from the top down the Champs Elysees, to the Eiffel Tower and to the newer Grande Arche in La Defense business district of Paris within the Ile de France region.
Standing against the pillars are sculptures in high relief like the Marseillaise that depicts the rising of 200,000 men in 1792 to defend France, and also the Departure of the Volunteers opposite the Champs Elysees.
Engraved on the inside walls of this triumphal arch are the names of battles and generals that were conducted by France during the Empire and the French Revolution right up until 1895 plus you may get to see the names of soldiers on tablets that bear the palms and crosses of the L'Egion d'Honneur, that by the way, is the highest medal come decoration in France which was introduced by Napoleon Bonaparte.
But on the ground itself there are additional inscriptions that are there to commemorate alternative events that happened in France like the return of the Alsace region and the Lorraine region to France in 1918, others to commemorate those soldiers who died for France throughout World War II, the Indochina war, etc.
Going into the building itself and up to the first level there is a little museum and it is in this attic room that there have always been fine arts and sculpted models since the year 1834.
However, there are currently completely different sections that you can visit and you can get to experience the bronze palms on the walls that pay tribute to the Unknown Soldier, the history of the construction work, the various events that have taken place at the Arc de Triomphe and the sculptures.
There is also a mezzanine at the highest point of the structure, which may be reached by climbing 284 steps and this will offer spectacular views over Paris and the madness of the number of vehicles negotiating round the Place Charles-de-Gaulle square. However getting back to the views, you'll clearly see the Champs Elysees, yet also the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre museum, the Place de la Concorde with the Luxor Obelisk and plenty of additional landmarks in Paris.
The Arc de Triomphe is found on the busiest and possibly most renowned square in Paris that has twelve intersections with each of the avenues radiating from it named after battles like Wagram or famous individuals like Kleber.
Designed by the architect Hittoroff upon the directions of Baron Haussmann, originally the square was referred to as the Place de l'Etoile, once it was completed in 1869, however it was then renamed the Place Charles-de-Gaulle after the statesman of the same name, and this is often the name it still has nowadays, nonetheless is usually referred to as the Star due to its configuration.
However, you may be happy to know that you simply don't have to attempt to negotiate the traffic at these intersections in order to go to the Arc de Triomphe while you are on holiday in Paris. There is in fact an underground passage for individuals to avoid the busy roads and get to this monument safely, that is found on the Avenue de la Grande Armee and may be accessed from the Wagram metro station.
There are currently 3 floors that you can visit that include the small museum and the permanent exhibition that even has interactive touch screens, together with the mezzanine and a gift shop. and there's additionally a lift in place and the Arc de Triomphe now has the tourism and disability label.
You can have an unaccompanied tour with a guide leaflet and these booklets are obtainable in several languages that include French, English, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese and Japanese.
You can even have a guided tour in either French or English, however this is often upon reservation by either telephone or fax and different prices apply and there also are dedicated tours for the disabled obtainable in addition.
In addition to this, for one thing special, there's the choice of having the ability to have a Prestigious visit outside of traditional opening hours that even includes a buffet breakfast and once more, there's an entirely different cost and reservations should be made well prior to your holiday in Paris.
The Arc de Triomphe is an all round great monument for the family to visit, with great views, a chance to visit the Unknown Soldier and the eternal flame and much more to enjoy while on holiday in Paris.