December 19, 2007

Place de l'Etoile - Arch of Triumph

So far, with my different posts about Paris, I have very little talked about the more famous landmarks, thinking that they are known anyhow. I will now make an exception and talk about the Arch of Triumph at the Place de l’Etoile.

In a certain way, I chose the wrong day and hour to visit the Arch – Monday late afternoon / evening; it was the coldest and windiest day since long, the daylight was fading away…

Anyhow, I walked up the some 300 steps (there is a lift, but only available for officially physically handicapped people which I’m not - yet). I took some pictures in all directions. Due to the fading light, the photos are blue.

Place de l’Etoile is a meeting point for 12 avenues, which of course explains its name, the “Star Place”. Officially, it was renamed in 1970 in honour of Charles de Gaulle.

Between each avenue there is a “hôtel particulier” (private residence), today of course rather occupied by offices. The place exists in different forms since 1670 and is today 240 meters wide (perfect circle). The Arch came some 200 years later.

L’Etoile is one point on the “historical axe” between the Louvre and the new office centre (la Défense) with another Arch-like office building which can be seen at the horizon of the Avenue de la Grande Armée…

The place was modified to give the Arch of Triumph a dignified surrounding. The “hôtels particuliers”, all in the same design, are from about the same date as the Arch (1836). Some of the avenues got their final and prolonged layout during the latter part of the 19th century (Haussmann again).
… This is now already too long. I will continue tomorrow!


Annie said...

The next time someone mentions they are planning a trip to Paris I plan to direct them to your blog. They'll be thrilled with all the information and beautiful visuals you provide each day.

Ming the Merciless said...

Love the shot of the stairs inside the building. I didn't even know one can go inside it.

Jessica Camis said...

I didn't know you go inside the arch either. I always leave your blog with a new piece of information and that is extremely satisfying. Thanks, Peter!

hpy said...

I didn't find this post so long!

Anonymous said...

Your photograph is etched in my memory as a Nazi newsreel at the time showed the Germans marching under the arch and the people on the sides watching and crying.

It was a long time ago. Your oldest French citizens will remember that day as if it was yesterday.

As always, your photos are wonderful to see.

Delphinium said...

Pour monter tous les escaliers, tu as pris ton lama avec toi? :-)))

Kate said...

Blue cast or not, your photos again are marvelous and informative. I've climbed to the top with grandson at his age eight when he was on his first international trip with us to Paris. What a thrill, and your photos recall some wonderful memories of seeing Paris through the eyes of a child.

Olivier said...

superbe cette série de panoramiques vu de l'arc de triomphe. Toi aussi tu es sous le charme de l'heure bleue.
j'aime bien cette vue vers la défense.

Ash said...

Superb lighting/exposure on the first shot. Also loved the second one :)

Anonymous said...

What a story book we could get, if somebody would like to write all those memories, which are coming into
everybody`s mind, who have attended there in your Paris.
Also I have one or two memories from
this building and streets around it :)
Don`t ever believe me, if I say, I am stopped blogging. I mean, that I have decided for a one day or perhaps two or . . .
I have also your blog`s URL in my Google Reader, I see, when you put a new post without coming to your pages. Thanks for yoyr wishes anyway !

Peter said...

I guess I still need a few years of blogging before my guide becomes "complete"! But, if it can be of some interest already today, I would be more than happy!

It's quite popular to get to the top. You have some very nice viws of Paris. But you should choose a warmer day, if you have the choice!

A saitisfied Jessica makes me happy!

Peter said...

I have done worse! Let's see what Cergie thinks.

A lot of events have taken place around the Arch, some nice, some less nice!

J'étais surpris, mais les lamas n'ont pas droit d'entrée! Je suis monté tout seul, comme un grand. :-)))

Peter said...

Let's all try to see certain things with the eyes of a child!

J'aime l'heure bleue, mais je crois que ici ça vient aussi du réglage... Mes doigts été gelés!

Thanks to the camera!

That would be quite a book!

Noushy Syah said...


Precisely! I do think you'll be a good tourist guide!! Your simple explanation makes reading more enjoyable.Keep it up Peter!

We love reading your blog!

Ex-Shammickite said...

I was in Paris with my 2 sons a couple of years ago, and we went up inside the Arc de Triomphe. Very steep circular steps, a wonderful view at the top. And I was amazed at the crazy traffic that never seems to stop circling the building, honking horns and weaving in and out. Lovely post, happy memories of Paris!

SusuPetal said...

Not at all too long a post!

Paris is so full of everything and your blog is a treasure for those who love Paris.

April said...

It's quite an impressing place and as a tourist you must have seen it once I think. But I haven't been up yet.

Peter said...

OK, maybe one day I will be a guide; at least for blogger visitors!

Good that you made all the steps! And you think the traffic is crazy; I find it normal!

I will make longer than next time!

Next time!

Neva said...

When I was in Paris in 2004, the Arc was under construction and we couldn't go up. This is very very nice! Hope you have a great Christmas, Peter.

Dina said...

great photos and very very useful information .

alice said...

Je me souviens très bien de cet escalier! Drôlement long, dis donc! Mais la vue de là-haut en vaut vraiment la peine, comme le montrent tes photos d'ailleurs. Et avec ce froid, on devrait tous se faire offrir des mitaines pour pouvoir faire des photos sans avoir les doigts complètement gelés...

lyliane said...

Tu n'es pas raisonnable et ne ménage pas ton genoux, mais la vue en vaut la peine et tes photos aussi, j'ai pris tous les angles de l'empire building aussi mais l'Arc de triomphe est quand même plus beau! sais tu que la construction d'un immense éléphant était prévu à la place de ce dernier? ce rond point comme tu le dis a été rebaptisé Charles de Gaulle, mais personne ne le nomme comme celà, il restera toujours "l'étoile".Et combien de jeunes permis de conduire n'osent s'aventurer autour de cet arc? (n'est ce pas HPY)et les étrangers qui viennent conduire pour la première fois en France, ne veulent même pas en entendre parler, ils nous croient fous de conduire là autour, je connais même des anciens collègues qui habitaient la défense et n'ont jamais osé se lancer dans ce carrefour!! Comme le diraient les romains dans Astérix :"ils sont fous ces gaulois parisiens!"Même delirium, n'a pas dû s'y élancer, Avoue délicieuse Delphinium?....

Peter said...

Merry Christmas also to you! (We may be in contact before?)

Did you visit the Arch when you were in Paris this summer?

C'est vrai qu'il faisit très froid! (J'ai encore tous mes doigts.)

On s'habitue à la circulation. Il faut faire confiance aux autres, regarder seulement devant soi et éventuellement à droite de temps en temps. Si accident, c'est 50/50 en général.

Drama Div@ said...

very informative post yet very interesting as well... cant wait to be there... the day will come, fingers crossed!!

Cergie said...

Je n'ai pas lu le post du dessus encore alors je ne sais si tu as parlé de la difficulté pour les automobilistes étrangers une fois entrés sur le rond point de s'en extirper.
Je sais que ce pb ne te concerne pas.

J'aime bcp ta photo de l'escalier, plutôt que la vue, c'est cela qu'on doit retenir lorsqu'on fume comme un sapeur et qu'on a des problèmes de genou.

Peter said...

drama div@
That day will soon come!

Je suis monté sans aucune difficulté!!

George said...

Note: the name "Arc de Triomphe" is never translated in English. We use the French name. Also, "Place de l'Étoile" (which also isn't normally translated) would be slightly better rendered as "Place of the Star."