It's not surprising there are so many monuments in Paris, what with 2,000 years of history, of kings, of emperors, and of monumental building. That's got to leave some significant traces behind. There's a lot to see — that's why we've created these guides, to give you a head start.
It's been a tradition among French kings and presidents to glorify both themselves and the city by erecting monuments in Paris. To this end they built streets, city walls, palaces, columns and other monuments — many of them are still standing. Then there was Napoleon; never one to undervalue his accomplishments, he built not only the Rue de Rivoli along the north side of the Louvre, but numerous monuments in Paris to celebrate his military victories.
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One of two triumphal arches Napoleon built to celebrate his victories, this well-known Paris monument has one of the best panoramic views of the city. We love looking, in one direction, along the Champs-Elysées to the Louvre and, in the other direction, all the way out to the Grande Arche at La Defense.
To distinguish it from its smaller brother, Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, this arch is formally referred to as L'Arc de Triomphe Paris de l'Etoile, the etoile being the 11-road traffic circle that surrounds the monument and resembles a star. Let's take a stroll to the top of the Champs-Elysées to learn the story behind the Arc.
The Panthéon is another one of the most recognizable monuments in Paris and it, too, has a fascinating history, alternating between the religious and the humanist. This shrine to the famous men and women of France stands on top of the hill that runs up east from Jardin du Luxembourg and acts as the unofficial center point of the 5th Arrondissement, the Latin Quarter.
We think this is a secret treasure among Paris monuments — the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, in the Tuileries Gardens by the Louvre — even though it's hiding in plain sight.
You may have walked right past it in the Tuileries, not giving it a second thought. But in our complete review you'll learn all about this monument, its history and the hidden stairways nearby that lead to the Paris Insiders entrance to the Louvre itself.
A 20th-century monument that immediately assumed iconic status, the Louvre Pyramid started out under great controversy. It was part the most striking and extensive changes to the Louvre in its 800-year history, including a complete renovation of the building and the addition of the this new way to enter the museum.
The Bastille is to Parisians a symbol of liberty. It's a former prison, it's an opera house, it's an important political meeting place, and it's where the 4th, 11th and 12th Arrondissements come together. In our guide we explore the history and the meaning of the Bastille to Paris. Also learn what to see and do nearby.
As much as we love them both, there's a lot more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. We'd like to introduce you to some other fascinating sites that will make your visit to the City of Monuments even more memorable.
There's the Tour Montparnasse, the only skyscraper ever allowed to be built in Paris; the column at Place Vêndome made from brass cannons; and the museums dedicated to the French military at Les Invalides, to name only three.
Monuments in Paris
• The Arc de Triomphe…
• The Pantheon…
• Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel…
• The Bastille…
• The Louvre Pyramid…
• Other Iconic Monuments…
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