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Avenue de la Grande Armée

Avenue de la Grande Armée, Paris, France
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from the Arc de Triomphe, looking west Paris  France

from the Arc de Triomphe, looking west

Paris: the view looking west from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Of course, the Eiffel Tower has THE view over the City of Lights, but in the mid-19th century, this monument (commissioned in 1806 by Napoléon I, finished in the 1830's), was one of the highest vantage points in the city, aside from the bell towers of Notre Dame cathedral.

From here, you're 'on top of the world,' then, 1800's-style. Twelve grand avenues lead out from this Arch. In the photo above, on the left, the très chic Avenue Foch (one of the most expensive addresses in the world), and on the right, the Avenue de la Grande Armée, heading off toward the modern high-rise district of La Défense on the edge of the city.

There are 284 steps in the spiral staircase inside the Arc de Triomphe. No elevator. Don't complain. Walk off those croissants; have Paris at your feet...