This magnificent reservation penetrates almost to the heart of the city. Its width is in one place nearly half a mile, being about one fifth of a mile wide at the Tuileries on the east, while it tapers down to about 450 feet (the width of Avenue des Champs Elysees) at the Arch of Triumph on the west end of it. The Avenue des Champs Elysees and the principal avenue in the Tuileries Garden are in a perfectly strait line, so that a person standing in the center of the avenue at the Tuileries will see both sides of the Arch of Triumph, nearly two miles away from him; while the center is concealed from his view by the Obelisk of Luxor standing in the center of Place de la Concorde, as above described. Stepping a few yards to either side throws the obelisk out of the way and affords one a perfect view of that noble arch (one of the most stately monuments in existence). The tourist can not approach that imposing monument called
Arc de Triomphe de L’Etoile
to greater advantage than by this avenue, starting out from the ruins of the Tuileries. As some of the finest scenes and most important places in Paris are met with, by this approach, one should allot a whole day to this walk. He will have half a mile to the obelisk in the center of Place de la Concorde, which, with its surroundings, will require him hours to see. Three thousand feet further, is the Rond Point of Champs Elysees. A quarter of a mile short of this, he will have found the Exhibition Buildings on his left and Palais de l’Elysees on his right. Having seen these, he may make his approach of the Arch of Triumph without further interruption. From Rond Point to the Center of the arch, it is about 3,800 feet more. It is only after the visitor comes within half a mile of its base that the monument begins to assume its gigantic proportions. This proud monument was designed by Chalgrin, having been decreed by Napoleon I. in 1806. The work was suspended from 1814 till 1823; labor was resumed then, but it was not completed before 1836. Thus, thirty years of time and over $2,000,000 were bestowed upon the erection of this historic monument, which is perhaps destined to hand down to future generations both the names of the victors and of the numerous vanquished cities that were subject to the authority of Napoleon I. The great central arch is forty-five feet wide and ninety feet high, over which rises a bold entablature and the crowning attic. The transversal arch is twenty-five feet wide and fifty-seven feet high. The total height of the monument being 152 feet; and its breadth and depth 137 feet and 68 feet respectively. The fronts of the structure are towards Champs Elysees and Porte de Neuilly, the city gate near Bois de Boulogne.