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The Arc de Triomphe


The Arc de Triomphe is 2.2 km north-west of the place de la Concorde, at the end of the avenue des Champs-Elysées. The Arch and the place Charles de Gaulle which surrounds it, together form one of the Paris' most famous landmarks. Twelve avenues radiate from the Arch which explains why it is also called place de l'Etoile. Etoile means star in English.

It was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to commemorate the imperial victories but remain unfinished when he started loosing. Chalgrain was appointed Architect. It took two years to lay the foundations.



Church of Saint Mary Magdalen


The neo-classical Church of Saint Mary Magdalen is north of Place de la Concorde at the end of rue Royale. Built in style of a Greek temple, it was consecrated in 1842 after almost a century of design changes and construction delays. It was started on plan based on church of Saint-Louis des Invalides.

A new architect, Couture, razed what had already been erected to begin a building modeled on the Panthéon. All work ceased between 1790 and 1806 as various projects were considered. Napoleon announced that on this spot should be erected a temple to the glory of the Great Army and gave the commission to Vignon.

Once more, the existing monument was razed and building started on the Greek Temple. In 1814, Louis XVIII confirmed that the Madeleine should be a church. In 1837, the building was nearly selected for use as a Paris' Premier railway terminal (between Paris and Saint-Germain). In 1842, the Church was consecrated.

The Church is surrounded by 52 Corinthian columns standing 20 meters tall. The monumental staircases on the south side has one of the best panoramas of Paris, down rue Royale, to place de la Concorde, across la Seine to l'Assemblée Nationale.




The Eiffel Tower


The Eiffel Tower is 318.7 meters high, including the television antenna at the very tip. In 1889, the height was 312.27 meters with flagpole. They are 1652 steps in all to the top.

Lifts are available which follow a curved trajectory.

It was built for the Exposition Universelle (World Fair) of 1889 in order to commemorate the century of the French Revolution. The studies begun in 1884 and the construction in 1887. The flag hoisted on the top on March 31st 1889 , 2 years, 2 months and 5 days after the beginning on the construction.

It was the world's tallest construction until Manhattan's Chrysler Building was completed in 1930. In 1909, when the concession expired, the tower was nearly pulled down. It was spared for purely practical reason. From 1910, on account of its huge antenna, it became part of the International Time Service.





Four tall, rather banal fountains frame the broad central traffic circle of the Champs Élysées, the Rond Point. Their privileged site entitles them to a sprucing up with beautiful flower arrangements in the Spring and grou pings of artificial snow in Winter.


Place de la Concorde


Place de la Concorde is today Paris's most magnificent square. Originally named place Louis XV, then, in 1792, place de la Révolution after the royal equestrian statue sculpted by Bouchardon was toppled, the 84.000 square meters (20 acre) place de la Concorde was the main execution site during the Reign of Terror when 1119 people, including the King Louis XVI and his wife Marie-Antoinette, many of their closest allies, and, after, the leaders of the Revolution itself, were led here their deaths






In the center of the giant Concorde square, an obelisk is framed by two fountains inspired from the ones of St-Peter square in Rome. In this square, thousands of victims were executed with the guilotine from 1793 to 1795.





L'Eglise du Dôme (Dôme church)


The work to erect the Eglise du Dôme began in 1677 under the supervision of the architect Jules Hardouin- Mansart. Its openwork skylight rises 107 meters above the ground. In 1989, the Dôme and its decorative elements, in particular its trophies, were regilded. Twelve kilograms of gold were necessary for this operation. Inside, the large painted fresco under the cupola is by Charles de la Fosse and was recently restored. Like the Soldiers' church, Dôme church, which has become a military necropolis, houses, around the Emperor's tomb, the tombs of Turenne, Vauban, Foch, Lyautey, Joseph and Jérôme Bonaparte.