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Tuileries Garden at sunset with trees reflecting in the pool

The Most Beautiful Triumphal Way in Paris

French people are the master of art. They know well the role of the line in composition in visual arts. They apply the element of line not only to their artwork, but even to the design of their cities. For example, the entire city of Paris is beautifully laid out by lines.

The most famous “line” they created in Paris is called “Axe Historique” (also known as the Voie Triomphale or “triumphal way”), a line of monuments, buildings and thoroughfares that extends from Louvre, the centre of Paris to the west, the Grand Arche, a monument and building in the business district of La Défense.

Axe Historique
Axe Historique

Grande Arche

This is what it looks like looking west along the Axe Historique, and the Grand Arche welcomes you at the other end of this triumphal way:

Vers l'ouest : Grande Arche de la Défense

At sunset, along the Avenue de la Grande Armée, to the west, the Grande Arche

DefenseDusk.jpg
Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=269940

At dusk, along the Avenue de la Grande Armée, to the west, the Grande Arche

Grande Arche de La Défense et fontaine.jpg
By Atoma – My own photo (Pentax K100D, 0.6sec, F/8, 35mm, ISO200), CC BY-SA 2.5, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24621436

The Grande Arche at night with shimmering golden fountains in the foreground

Arc de Triomphe

Along the Avenue de la Grande Armée to the east, you will reach the Arc de Triomphe at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle (historically known as the Place de l’Étoile), the meeting point of twelve straight avenues (hence its historic name, which translates as “Square of the Star”) including the Champs-Élysées. Yes, yet another set of picturesque lines stretching out from an important landmark.

Paris-Arc-de-Triomphe001.jpg
By dontworry (improved version) – taken myself, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2182933

Don’t miss out on this stunning panoramic night view from the Arc de Triomphe facing east following the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the Ferris wheel at the far, Eastern end of the Champs-Élysées.

View From Arc De Triomphe

When you walk along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the east, it’s always a great pleasure to turn your head appreciating this massive monument of the Arc de Triomphe, especially at night.

Arc de Triomphe at night
Arc de Triomphe at night

See Also: Eiffel Tower from Arc de Triomphe

Luxor Obelisk

Following the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the east, the first monument you will see is the giant Egyptian Luxor Obelisk, a yellow granite column, in the center of the Place de la Concorde.

Once you reach the Luxor Obelisk, don’t forget to turn your head again, yet another perspective of the Champs-Elysées from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe with the Luxor Obelisk in the foreground. Trees near the Avenue des Champs-Élysées are trimmed square, behind them are trees growing freely.

Champs-Elysées, vue de la Concorde à l'Etoile.jpg
By Palagret [1]Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3091517

Ferris Wheel (Roue de Paris)

Turning your head back to the east, the Ferris wheel is exactly behind the Luxor Obelisk.

Paris

Ferris wheel close-up

Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries)

Continuing to the east, you will be surprised by the most agreeable garden you’ve ever encountered—the Tuileries Garden, until you reach the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.

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Ferris wheel in autumn from the Tuileries Garden

wheel and bird

Ferris wheel in winter from the Tuileries Garden

Tuileries Garden at sunset with trees reflecting in the pool
Tuileries Garden at sunset with trees reflecting in the pool

See Also: Interior design of Tuileries station
Tuileries métro entrance

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

When you turn your head, you’ll see the Ferris wheel through the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.

Arc de triomphe du Carrousel

When you walk a bit further east, stand on a higher point and look back, you’ll see the Luxor Obelisk and the Arc de Triomphe through the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. Amazing, isn’t it?

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, 16 August 2008.jpg
By SimdaperceOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5576830

Louvre Pyramid

But the real east end of this fabulous Axe Historique is the Louvre Pyramid.

Pyramid, Louvre PARIS, France.jpg
By Peter K BurianOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49056762

Louvre Pyramid lit up in gold at night

Paris

Louvre Pyramid through the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

French artists are in love with the powerful compositional rule of leading lines that adds a third dimension to the City of Light.

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Min Min

There are different kinds of artists. Some are more focused and others are more all-encompassing. I would count myself as the art-everywhere type of artist. To me, art is a way of looking at things, of applying creativity in my life. I am a frequent traveler who truly appreciates every tiny beauty of life and have traveled extensively around the world. Different cities inspire me in different ways. My passion is Paris which I have visited more than once, living as a Parisian. I have walked big streets and small alleys in Paris, and every inch of the city has given me inspiration. When I first arrived in Paris it was as though all my senses were heightened, then as I became familiar with the city I learned to see subtleties that I missed at first.

7 thoughts on “The Most Beautiful Triumphal Way in Paris”

  1. One of my best trike or walk course. But I must admit that I was avoiding the Champs Elysees on the week end. Too crowdy for me.
    But it is absolutely true. The perspective that you got when you walk along these big avenues is amazing.

  2. It is just amazing to see we could compare and link all these places and monuments to Paris’ history. They represent vanishing lines in the work of art, the Arch of triumph being its very centre.

    Whether you’re looking for Paris’ modernity (La Défense business district), History, culture (the Louvre Museum), international relations (Luxor obelisk), leisure (the big wheel), everything is there!

    These places are like metaphors of what Paris actually is.

  3. Every view that Paris has for you is just so beautiful, it doesn’t matter where you stand and turn your head to because you’ll always find beauty. And this post is the best example of it. I definitely love the line concept of Parisian architecture that you mention because it allows you to enjoy of an amazing view from a distant point in the city.
    I like the idea of being able to see in the distance a magnificent monument from any point in this Triumphal Way. However, I would say that the most charming look is taken from the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel because through it you can see the Luxor Obelisk, the Ferris Wheel and the Arc de Triomphe all lined up in front of you.

  4. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The Arc de Triomphe is majestic and it is made so artfully that every peek you take you can see all of the other splendours of Paris. The photos definitely enhance the story behind them. Just standing there either in the center of the Arc de Triomphe or next to the Louvre Pyramid makes you feel like a mystery. A magical mystery.

  5. So beautiful!

    I was truly amazed when I first realized this perfect harmony between the lines among those monuments.

    These is another wonderful view in this neighborhood that is absolutely breath taking – while you are walking from the Louvre to the Tuileries, when you are just in front of a little Arc, you look at your left – you will see a Tower. This view is most beautiful in the sunset, on a summer day, while the sky is turning red…

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