Champs-Elysée Avenue lies on a 7km axis which runs from Concorde to the Etoile and later extends to La Défense. The steps along this triumphant tour include the Louvre Pyramid, Concorde Square, the Arc de Triomphe and the Grande Arche: ideally, one should combine the Louvre and La Défense. From Re Sole, who redesigned the path of Tuileries, to Napoleon who set up the Arc de Triomphe right up to Mitterand, who constructed the Grande Arche: the Champs-Elysée represents successive historic events which brought one of the world's most mind-blowing visual perspectives to fruition.
From the middle of the 1800s the Paris aristocracy turned the Champs-Elysée into a desirable location and began to put up its first fine buildings, including splendid hotels and luxurious shops.
Place de l'Etoile in 1770 was only a junction in the middle of the countryside. After the construction of the axis from Concorde to Nuelly Bridge however, plans for the construction of the square were also developed. After the Austerlitz campaign in 1806, Napoleon ordered the construction of the Arc de Triomphe.
The Arc presents itself as a barrel-vault arch resting on four pillars. An arch opens up on each of its sides displaying facades sculpted with military and heroic motifs. It is situated in the middle of a square 120m in radius, on a street junction with some of the most intense traffic in Paris.
The timetable for visiting the Arc de Triomphe is as follows:
it is open from 10.00 to 23.00 between 1st April and 30th September; from 10.00 to 22.30 between 1st October and 31st March. The entrance counter shuts 30 minutes before closing time.
The cost of a ticket is 8 Euros.
To get there with the metro, take lines 1, 2, 6 until the Charles de Grulle-Etoile stop; with the RER line A until Charles de Grulle-Etoile station.
With the Bus, lines 22, 30, 31, 52, 73, 92.
Sights not to be missed