Symbol of victory and remembrance, the Arc de Triomphe stands at the centre of Paris’s Place Charles de Gaulle, still also referred to by its historic name, Place d’Etoile, place of the star. Locals refer to the wild roundabout simply as ‘l’Etoile’.
Some find this monument at the head of the Champs Elysées too cold and too glorifying of war and battle to be appealing. I prefer to look at it with the eye of a memorial and thanksgiving, a monument whose grandeur recognises the sacrifice of those who fought and fell for a worthy cause. The flame at the tomb of the unknown soldier beneath the arch is lit every evening as a mark of respect and remembrance.
I’m spending a few days writing in Paris before Clive joins me early next week. Even on a rainy day, the Arc inspires with its presence and position in the City of Light.
You can walk beneath the Place d’Etoile to the centre of the roundabout to visit the Arc up close, explore its museum and climb its steps for a grand view of the avenues that radiate out from the centre.
Cheers and thanks for reading. Next week’s letter will be from Paris.
Filed under: Paris |