Arch of Triumph at Place l´Étoile

Arch of Triumph, a work of French architect Chalgrin, was built 1806-1837 on commission of Napoleon.
On groundlevel just beneath the arch, is the grave of the unknown soldier, symbolising all the men who died during World WarI. From the observation deck on the roof of the arch, you can look towards Place de la Concorde/Le Louvre and La Défense towards Grande Arche, "the new arch of triumph". The Arch of Triumph is the place where the parades on the national day ends.

Arch of Triumph (Arc-de-Triomphe) and Eiffel Tower, the 2 most famous symbols of Paris, in the same picture.

The traffic is so heavy around the arch that it is only reachable from underground tunnels. As 12 large avenues are meeting at this point, it was very hard to find wher to go down. Bad service!

Looking towars La Défense from Place l'Etoile, officially named Place de Charles de Gaulle. L'Etoile means "the star" and is aiming at the fact that 12 avenues are gleaming from the place like a star.
Some people are trying to ride through this chaotic traffic place by bike.

As there was no elevator available inside Arch of Triumph (for some strange reason), we had to walk the stars all the 284 steps and 50m to the roof on the top to see the views.

The views from the roof of the Arch of Triumph are probably the best one in Paris, making it worth all the steps. You can almost see the whole city. But because Greater Paris is so big, you can't see the where the metro area ends and the nature begins.
Enjoy! The views:

The outdoor observation deck on the top of the arch.

La Défense, one of Europe´s largest skyscraper clusters.

La Défense to the left and Concorde Lafayette, the tallest and largest hotel in Paris and the 2nd tallest building within the city borders (33 floors, 137/190m) to the right.

Looking at the traffic, it is hard to believe that there are so few crashes.

When I was looking at Place l'Etoile on Google Earth I discovered an amazing thing:
When seen from above, the place creates a 12-pointed star, one point for each avenue on a redish colour that could only be seen from above.
If you look carefully, you can see 2 of the red points on the picture.

Towards north Paris and the "Siemens tower" in St Denis.

Champs Elysées towards Place de la Concorde and Le Louvre. To the right behind Le Louvre, Nôtre Dame is also visible.

Tour Montparnasse, some highrise cluster and Dome des Invalides.

Eiffel Tower. 324m tall.

Not all avenues are heavily trafficated.

Leaving Arc-de-Triomphe.

Champs Elysées

Avenue des Champs-Elysées. The avenue of the avenues. Not the world's widest avenue, but Europe's widest.
That was the only time we walked on Champs-Elysées(but there are so much to see and do in Paris),
but I have walked along the whole avenue from Place d l´Étoile (Arch of Triumph) to Place de la Concorde back in 2000. Champs-Elysées means "the elysian fields". It was drawn by the garden architect Le Nôtre, that also drawn the gardens of Versailles (we planned to visit Versailles, but unfortunately we didn't have time for that either). There are a lot of stores, restaurant and fast food place along the avenue today, and it is heavily trafficated, so in some way it has lost its glamour. Rich arabs are owning most of the properties today. There are also many 5 star hotels and exclusive residences. Champs-Elysées is also a place for many events, like the famous annual parade on the national day and the final of Tour de France


Looking towards Champs Elysées from Place l'Etoile.

Arch of Triumph at sunset in the end of Champs-Elysées. with its chaotic traffic.

People at Champs-Elysées.

Cars, bikes and motor bikes are visible in the rush hour of Champs-Elysées.

The avenue has to lines of trees in each direction!

Marriott Hotel, a 5 star chain hotel at Champs-Elysées.

Visiting an open-air baguette restaurant at Champs-Elysées is the last thing we did in Paris.

Maison du Danemark. It seems they like Danes in France.

Sunset seen through Arch of Triumph. The last photo I took in Paris. Goodbye Paris!

After visiting Place de la Bastille we took the metro to Place de l'Etoile to see the Arch of Triumph after dark. Note the Eiffel Tower in the background.

The Eiffel Tower is glittering every night in a magic way with small white lights. This is a new feature and I don't know for how long it will last.

The lightened Arch of Triumph and the glittering Eiffel Tower.

The grave of the unknown soldier. They are lighting the torch every night.

Champs-Elysées after dark.