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.
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:
At sunset, along the Avenue de la Grande Armée, to the west, the Grande Arche
At dusk, along the Avenue de la Grande Armée, to the west, the Grande Arche
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.
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.
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.
See Also: Eiffel Tower from Arc de Triomphe
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.
Ferris Wheel (Roue de Paris)
Turning your head back to the east, the Ferris wheel is exactly behind the Luxor Obelisk.
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.
Ferris wheel in autumn from the Tuileries Garden
Ferris wheel in winter from the Tuileries Garden
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
When you turn your head, you’ll see the Ferris wheel through the 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?
But the real east end of this fabulous Axe Historique is the Louvre Pyramid.
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.