If you've read novels, watched movies and roamed on Instagram, you would have seen this huge arch structure in French art. This is the Arc de Triomphe; a famous monument and icon of Paris, besides the Eiffel Tower.
Commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon I to commemorate his military achievements and victory of the Battle of Austerlitz, this arch took 30 years to complete construction. It was designed by Jean-Francois-Therese Chalgrin. The arch stands at 50m tall and 45m wide. It was designed to sit in a circular plaza on a roundabout of sorts, with cars driving around it, and grand avenues built in a star formation. Google map the Arc de Triomphe and have a look from a birds' eye view 😉
We visited in March 2019 and used our Paris Pass to gain entry to the monument.
It freaked us out seeing so many cars drive around the Arc de Triomphe with no indicated lanes. How do they merge? HOW DO THEY EXIT? Watching the cars gave us anxiety and reminded us of that Simpsons episode where they got stuck in a roundabout in London 🤣
This spot we stood on for the iconic photo with no tourist was actually a small painted circle on the floor that was too close to the road for our liking. Alas, gotta do it for the gram, am I right? 😅 Also, if you choose to risk your life too, be mindful there will be a queue of people waiting to do the same.
After taking a bunch of pictures of the outside, we finally entered the arch and climbed the stairs to the top. The climb was not too bad. Our thighs were only mildly burning from the workout. We highly recommend bringing a water bottle and fan if you feel claustrophobic.
This view was spectacular 😍 It was windy, bright and cold on the roof but it was definitely worth it. From any angle of the arch, you would get this aesthetically pleasing straight road, thanks to the purposely designed star formation of the location of the arch.
What a view! If we ever visit Paris in the future, we would definitely climb the Arc de Triomphe again. It may be one of the only 13 arch around the world that allows visitors to climb to the top.
Thanks for reading! Au revoir!