Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe stands 50m above the huge traffic roundabout from which 12 boulevards radiate.  The most famous of these is the Champs Elysees.  From the top of the arch you can see straight down the Champs Elysees to the Louvre museum.  The arch was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 but was not completed until 1836.  While we visited the arch we were privileged to see a ceremony honoring the World War I Unknown Soldier from the battle of Verdun who was laid beneath the arch.  Many war veterans were in attendance.  Tourists and Parisian residents respectfully watched on.

The Arc de Triomphe with the Champs Elysees running on the left side of the photo.

Looking down from the top of the arch, traffic problems on the traffic circle are evident!  Traffic control is virtually non-existent.  Having driven in Paris before I can tell you it is an amazing and scary experience.  I recommend taking the Metro subway!

Audrey on top of the Arc de Triomphe looking back toward the Eiffel Tower.

Underneath the arch with the French flag flying.

Looking back up the Champ Elysees towards the Arc de Triomphe.

Hotel des Invalides

The Hotel des Invalides was built by Louis XIV in the 1670's to accommodate up to 4000 invalides (disabled veterans).  The Dome Church which is part of the complex was constructed between 1677 and 1735 and houses Napoleon's Tomb as well as being the resting place of several other famous military heroes.

This is the Dome Church and a portion of the rest of the Hotel des Invalides.

Looking up inside the dome.

Napoleon's tomb.  His body is encased in no fewer than 5 coffins and a sarcophagus of red porphyry, and is displayed in an open crypt right under the dome.

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