In the summer months of 2005 the Arc de Triomphe was undergoing a facelift. This is a sketch of that restoration in progress with the scaffolding, staircases, construction barriers, etc. erected to perform the works. I found the juxtaposition noteworthy, memorable, timely, beautiful, and complimentary… the historic and the modern; the old and the new, concrete and steel, heavy and light, opaque and translucent.
My friends and I left the US on the 16th of May and arrived in France (Europe) on the 17th... My diary entry for this day says:
“Left for Paris at 7pm. Arrived in Paris at 1:30am Pacific Time which was 7:30am Paris time. We went to our hotel Movenpick Dream Castle. Then headed out to Paris. We went to the new Arch of Paris. Then walked to Building by Portzamparc, housing, Naterre Park. Saw Eiffel Tower and Arch de Triomphe and Publicis by Saee. Feeling tired. No sleep since Sunday night. Today is Tuesday, technically 1:10pm right now. We are amazed that it has only been one day and not only have we seen so much, but we are tired and it has been only one day. Erlie looks like, “Just kill me!” We are all sleeping like drunkards on the train.”
I remember when we arrived at our hotel, we thought we would have the opportunity to shower, have a rest, eat something, put our luggage in our rooms and head back out, but NO. We checked in, left our luggage at the front desk and headed right out to the great Paris…our professor was sure to use every minute we had to see all we could. We were sooo tired…my eyes were seeing double for a moment. That day was looooooong, and many times I would break out laughing because we looked so sleepy, so tired. You can tell from my continued repetition of how tired we were above. We slept like logs that night.. oh yes! we got in late that night… I think around 9:30/ 10pm…to leave at 6am the following morning.
Read more about the Arc de Triomphe below:
Arc de Triomphe Paris
The Arc de Triomphe Paris, the most monumental of all triumphal arches, was built between 1806 and 1836. Even though there were many modifications from the original plans, reflecting political changes and power struggles, the Arch still retains the essence of the original concept which was a powerful, unified ensemble.
The Arc de Triomphe stands at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, also known as the “Place de l’Étoile”. It’s located at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The arches whole decorative style is entirely of the tradition of sculpture from the first half of the nineteenth century.
The triumphal arch is in honor of those who fought for France, in particular, those who fought during the Napoleonic Wars. Engraved on the inside and at the top of the arch are all of the names of the generals and wars fought. There are inscriptions in the ground underneath the vault of the arch which include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I where the Memorial Flame burns and have made the Arc de Triomphe Paris a revered patriotic site.
The monument is considered the linchpin of the historic axis (L’Axe historique) — a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on a route which stretches from the courtyard of the Louvre Palace to the outskirts of Paris.
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.