The Arc de Triomphe & Champs-Elysées, Paris, France.
Napoléon, the French emperor who conquered most of Europe at the
beginning of the 19th century, admired the Roman people. In 1806,
following their example, he decided to build a very big arch of triumph
where his victorious troops would march on through cheered by the
population of Paris. This never happened as Napoléon was defeated by
General Wellington armies at Waterloo in 1815.
The Arc de Triomphe was only finished in 1836. It magnificently crowns
the hill from where the Champs Elysées, the Avenue Foch, the Avenue de
la Grande Armée and nine other avenues radiate. The multitude of streets
feeding this place makes for very intimidating driving.
Engraved around the top of the Arch are the names of major victories won
during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. The names of less
important victories, as well as those of 558 generals, are to found on
the inside walls. Generals whose names are underlined died in action.
Beneath the Arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and permanent flame
commemorating the dead of the two world wars.
The Champs-Elysées, also named "La plus belle avenue du monde" in French
(the most beautiful avenue in the world) stretch from the Concorde
square to the Arc de Triomphe.