Paris Tour: Paris in a Day, part 3 – Monuments

eiffel tower

Eiffel Tower at dusk, author’s photo

Paris in a Day – Monuments: Day Three

While you can’t do all of Paris in a day, you can visit a few Museums, Cathedrals, or Monuments.

The two most famous monuments in Paris are within walking distance of each other. First:

 

The Eiffel Tower

La Tour Eiffel is France’s most popular tourist destination and, indeed, in all of Europe. It is definitely worth seeing, but you must book ahead. There are two separate elevators. The first gets you to the first and second levels, where the shops and restaurants are.

 

sous la tour eiffel 1

Under the Eiffel Tower. Image: Wikipedia

 

But if you want to get to the very top, and you do, then also get a ticket for the upper elevator to the top of the 330-meter structure that is taller than the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. If you consider attractions that require an entrance fee, the Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in the world. Twenty-five thousand people visit it daily, or about 7 million annually. I visit it every time I’m in Paris.

 

tour eiffel 360 panorama 3

Panorama view of Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Image: Wikipedia

 

Trivia:

At the far end of the Île de Cygnes on the left of the panorama above is a miniature of the famous Statue of Liberty that the French gifted to the U.S. in 1886. On the tablet that Lady Liberty holds is inscribed “July 4, 1776.” The metal structure of the statue on Liberty Island, NY was built by Gustave Eiffel, who built the Eiffel Tower.

 

The views from the Tower are spectacular. Originally constructed for the 1889 World’s Fair, the French came to love “La dame de fer” (Iron Lady) and maintained it afterward. At night it is illuminated, and every hour it twinkles with additional lights.

 

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Eiffel Tower: Between 1889 and 1930, the tallest man-made structure in the world. Image: Wikipedia

 

The 81-story, 10-ton, wrought-iron Tower is located along the River Seine between the Field of Mars (Champs de Mars) on one side of the river and on the other side of the river by the Palais de Chaillot in the Trocadéro.

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Bateau Mouche. Image: Wikipedia

 

After the Tower, you can take a boat cruise on the River Seine in a Bateau Mouche (fly boat) like in the Cary Grant/Audrey Hepburn movie Charade.

 

Arc of Triumph

arc de triomphe, paris 21 october 2010

Arc of Triumph, Paris. Image: Wikipedia

 

The Arc de Triomphe is located astride the Avenue des Champs-Élysées (Avenue of the Elysian Fields), one of the most beautiful streets in the world. It is lined with picture-perfect cafés and restaurants with tables on the sidewalk facing the avenue and world-renowned shops. Louis Vuitton House is only a few blocks away. The Arc is walkable from the Orangery Museum.

You can take an elevator to the top, with a fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower, or walk the ten flights of steps and find a museum just below the roof.

 

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Étoile. Image: Wikipedia

 

There is a subway station (Metro) immediately below it, exit at Charles de Gaulle-Étoile. It is called Étoile, as twelve avenues radiate out like a “star” from the traffic circle that surrounds the Arc.

The Arc memorializes those who died during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Below it is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. It was a rallying point following the “Liberation of Paris” in World War II. It is featured prominently in the military parade on Bastille Day celebrations.

 

Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian
billpetro.com

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About billpetro

Bill Petro writes articles on history, technology, pop culture, and travel. He has been a technology sales enablement executive with extensive experience in Cloud Computing, Automation, Data Center, Information Storage, Big Data/Analytics, Mobile, and Social technologies.

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