Arc de Triomphe

The best day to visit the world’s most familiar triumphal arch is 2 December, the date that marks Napoleon’s victory at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, when the sun sets in line with the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe, creating a spectacular halo around the building. Work began on the 50-m (164-ft) arch in 1806 but was not completed until 1836, due, in part, to Napoleon’s fall from power. Four years later, Napoleon’s funeral procession passed beneath it, on its way to his burial in Les Invalides. Today the arch is a focal point for numerous public events.

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