The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought & died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories & generals inscribed on its inner & outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.
We visited the Arc on our last day in Paris. It was gloomy & raining & I was so excited to visit the Palais de Tokyo & the Trocadéro later, I almost wanted to skip it; I thank myself everyday for ignoring my stupid wishes in this trip. The Arc itself is incredible, a beautiful Roman-esque building on the end of the Champs-Élysées; but when you actually remember why it was made, you stop breathing. All the battles of the French Revolutionary & Napoleonic Wars are engraved on the attic, while a list of French victories is engraved under the great arches on the inside façades of the monument. So many names! So many cities! There are no words to describe the energy there, the sense of patriotism. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was full of flowers, just like most of the places we visited!