Friday, May 29, 2009
Day 41 Eiffel and the Arc
It's a bit of a hike but we have done it before and here we are again, having marched our way to the downtown from our residence in north Paris. We are here to see both the Arc de Triumphe and the Eiffel Tower. We did it in 2002 and we are doing it again, climbing the Arc and taking the elevator to the top of the tower. It is absolutely worth it. These are memorable. Taking many photos along the way. Our intention when we get back home is to incorporate them into a hard cover book for our own joy and this is easy given the free download of software from online printers. Hard cover and dust jacket for a coffee table book for $60 is a wonderful way of preserving memories and revisiting them easily. Here is a look at what we see from the top of the tower. But for an even better experience tap this link and see a panoramic view from high above.
The Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile, the world's largest triumphal arch, forms the backdrop for an impressive urban ensemble in Paris. The monument surmounts the hill of Chaillot at the center of a star-shaped configuration of 12 radiating avenues. It is the climax of a vista seen the length of the Champs Elysées from the smaller Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in the Tuileries gardens, and from the Obélisque de Luxor in the place de la Concorde. I can't beleive that neither of us considered dates for this trip that would include the Tour de France which finishes right here after its weeks on the roads of France. Inside the Arch, a small museum documents its history and construction. The price of admission includes access to the top of the Arch. From the roof, one is treated to spectacular views of Paris. Looking eastwards, down the Champs Elysées, toward the Louvre, there is the Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries Gardens, and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. In the opposite direction - westwards - in the distance is its larger and newer cousin, La Grande Arche de la Défense.
The Eiffel Tower is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the Seine River in Paris. The tower has become a global icon of France and is one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest building in Paris. We are two of the more than 200,000,000 people who have visited the tower since its construction in 1889, making it the most visited paid monument in the world. Including the 24 m (79 ft) antenna, the structure is 324 m (1,063 ft) high, which is equivalent to about 81 levels in a conventional building.
When the tower was completed in 1889 it was the world's tallest tower — a title it retained until 1930 when New York City's Chrysler Building (319 m — 1,047 ft tall) was completed. The tower is now the fifth-tallest structure in France and the tallest structure in Paris.