Thursday, May 15, 2014

Arc de Triomphe

Our next day in Paris dawned with gray skies and cold weather. This would not be a deterrent for our planned adventures. First on the schedule was a visit to the Arc de Triomphe. It is one of the most famous monuments in all of Paris and has a long history that is quite fascinating including parades, funerals and even a plane flying through the Arc. It was built to honor those who fought and died in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

The massive size of the Arc was a surprise to me. Being used to seeing the much smaller version in Washington Square Park in New York City (the site of Shayne's graduation from NYU), I was not expecting the immense size of the original. I also did not expect to be able to climb up a leg to see the view from the top.

Before going to the roof level there is a small museum/display of some of the history surrounding the Arc. (There is also one of the best gift/souvenir shops we found while in Paris.)

The Arc de Triomphe lies at western end of the Champs-Elysees and the intersection of twelve large avenues. Once on the rooftop this pattern is laid out before you. With the heavy haze that morning the photos were not the greatest - but the views definitely were.

Beneath the Arc's vault lies the tomb of the unknown soldier from World War I. It is a simple yet very moving monument honoring all those who fought for their country.

The grand scale of this monument still amazes me when I look at the photos. 

We had a very inspiring morning with more to follow.

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