Standing out the front of the Louvre is the Arc de Triomphe de Carrousel, a triumphal arch built between 1806 & 1808 to commemorate Napoleon’s military victories. Walk through the arch and Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden) is amazingly laid out in front of you.
Its a beautiful stroll anytime of year. For us, it was bright green with a hint of autumn. After passing Musée de l’Orangerie (again), we reached the busy Place de la Concorde. At its centre is the, somewhat out of place, Luxor Obelisk. This three thousand year old Egyptian granite column arrived here in 1836, a gift from the ruler of Egypt. It originally stood beside its twin at the Luxor Temple. Flanking it here are the famous twin Fountains of River Commerce and Navigation.
Continuing on the same Axe historique (Historical Axis), stretches the world’s most beautiful avenue; the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.With its luxury shops, cafes, theatres and tree lined footpaths, it is a visual dream.
Especially with this “other” triumphal arch marking the end of today’s afternoon stroll.Twice the size of the lesser known arch waaaaaaay in the distance, the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. There are layers of impressive friezes celebrating different victories.
It stands proudly in the middle of Place Charles de Gaulle, a bizarre roundabout with seemingly no marked traffic lanes, which has no less than twelve avenues radiating from it like a perfect clock!At least one of those avenues got us within view of the “monument” of monuments…
the Eiffel Tower.
Sure, we’ve all seen it before.
Sure, we all know it was designed and built by the famous engineer Gustave Eiffel as the entrance for the 1889 World’s Fair, making it the tallest made-made structure of its day.
Sure, we all know ascending this iron tower makes it the most-visited paid monument in the world.But for the best view (in the City of Love or course), all you need is a picnic of local cheese, some nibbles and a pop of champagne.And that’s another Bucket List item!
Oh, and hang around for night-time too.
The tower’s light-show is dazzling.Visited 9th to 14th October 2014.