Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

Vino Con Vista | Traveler

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Arc De Triomphe, Paris - All Roads Lead to the Roman Arch

Paris: Avenue des Champs-Élysées - Arc de Trio...Image by wallyg via FlickrBy Derek F Wright
The Arc de Triomphe in Paris occupies a location in the Place de l'Etoile at the western end of the Champs-Elysees and at the centre of a star of twelve major avenues. No wonder, then, that the roundabout immediately circling this triumphal arch is particularly busy with traffic. Anyone studying an aerial view of the avenues radiating from the Place de l'Etoile would conclude that all roads must lead to this stunning Roman arch.
After all, the Arc de Triomphe was modelled by its architect, Jean Chalgrin, on the first-century Arch of Titus located on the Via Sacra, Rome. The Parisian version, dating from 1806, was commissioned after Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz, his greatest triumph, and dominates the landscape at 50m in height.

Yet the view of the Arc de Triomphe was not always so easy. Located on the right bank of the Seine, the arch was only subject to rationalisation of its environment under the supervision of Baron Haussmann, who was appointed by Napoleon III in 1852 to "modernise" the city. Haussmann redesigned the Place de l'Etoile and created the long avenues that give the arch its perspective.

Prior to Haussmann, the city echoed its medieval background, with winding streets and worn-out houses. Haussmann adorned the surroundings of the Arc de Triomphe with tree-lined boulevards, spacious gardens and buildings of uniform heights.

With its strong military feel, as conjured up by iconography of French youths fighting bearded Germanic warriors, the Arc de Triomphe became a destination for troops to parade after military campaigns. The French paraded there in 1919 and 1945, the Germans in 1871 and 1940.

Probably the most daring journey to the arch was by a pilot by the name of Charles Godefroy who flew his bi-plane through it in 1919 to celebrate the end of the First World War.

Nowadays, if you want to get there, you'll have to take the RER or the Metro and get off at the Charles de Gaulle-Etoile stop. You'll have to take an underpass to get to the arch as the roundabout is far too busy.

If you want to learn more about the Arc de Triomphe, visit After your visit you might want to stay in one of the nearby hotels in the Champs-Elysees area of Paris.

Article Source:

Enhanced by Zemanta