05 September 2015

Prancing Around in Paris: Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile

Most people know of just one Arc de Triomphe in Paris. But there is actually at least another one. The more famous one, whose full name is actually Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, is quite large, and honors those who died during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The smaller Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is west of the Louvre, but we didn't visit it.

This monument is in the middle of a busy intersection, or a rotunda, actually. One needs to go through a pedestrian tunnel in order to reach the island. There are plenty of people, as this is one of the more famous monuments in the city. Therefore, while we visited the island, we opted not to climb inside and go up.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of things to gawk at already at ground level. There are massive wall sculptures on each of the pillar's sides. These wall sculptures depict military events forming French history. There is also the tomb of the unknown soldier right in the middle. The place definitely exudes a very militaristic spirit, which, unfortunately, is overshadowed sometimes by the masses who visit here, not knowing what the place is about.

I am not sure whether I would recommend this place. I went there because it was a famous thing to see in Paris, but given the crowds, I probably would stay away and enjoy something else.


  1. I didn't even know you could climb inside until I played tourist in Paris with Feng the first time he visited the city with me. I was really sick that day, so not my best memory, but the view was alright.

    1. Zhu,

      The thing with Paris is that the city is relatively flat, so there aren't many structures that one could climb up to get a view, except the Eiffel Tower of course. :)