The Arc de Triomphe has a secret

Old Jul 18th, 2008, 08:56 AM
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The Arc de Triomphe has a secret

elevator to the museum level (one flight of stairs below the observation roof).

It's an unmarked door in the southwest pillar - the one adjacent to Avenue Kleber. The door faces the pillar to the southeast.

Strictly speaking, it's for the mobility-impaired, but if you behave yourself, no one will raise the issue if you're able-bodied.
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 09:07 AM
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Hi Robespierre,

I didn't realize this was a secret. I thought everyone knew about the elevator. I first used it 20 years ago. I guess I never imagined that there wouldn't be an elevator and asked where it was my first time at the Arch.

Don't you pay for the priviledge of using the elevator rather than climbing the stairs?
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 09:11 AM
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Secret? It's even on wiki!
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 09:16 AM
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When I last used it in 2005, it was free.

Simmer down, folks. It's only secret in the sense that it's unmarked, and if you didn't consult wiki (or another source describing it) beforehand, you might overlook it altogether. Relax and breathe deeply.
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 09:40 AM
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Well -- I didn't know it was there. But if you take the elevator how do you justify stopping by Laduree on the way there (and back)?
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 09:48 AM
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Well, BKP, wouldn't you deserve a little reward for finding the elusive elevator?

~Liz
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 09:53 AM
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Thanks for the tip. My mom and I will be in Paris in September and now my mom will have an option to my "forced" climbing orders.
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 10:04 AM
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Good idea, LCI. My mom climbed the stairs with me...THEN found out about the elevator.

She was not happy.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 10:07 AM
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Robespierre - we do appreciate this and all your knowledgeable posts!

I guess I thought the stairs were free and you bought a ticket for the elevator. My last time at the Arch I saw people by-passing the ticket booth and walking up the stairs. I bought 2 tickets and went to the elevator. But I don't remember seeing anyone check for tickets either for the stairs or elevator. Perhaps things have changed since I was last there or my memory has failed me (once again!).
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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Adrienne -- When we were there in April of this year, we had the joy of purchasing tickets and the further joy of climbing the stairs!

I have to say, I thought it was worth it. It's a great view. We climed the Arc, and skipped the long lines to go up the Eiffel Tower. I heard somewhere that the view was just as good, if not better, due to the fact that you're not up so high so the city does not look like a flat map.
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 10:24 AM
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Shelly - LOL - twice the triumph on your visit to the Arch!

I agree about the view from a lower level. I think the first level of the Eiffel Tower offers the best view. When you get to the top everything is flattened, as you say.
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 10:58 AM
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There is no charge for using the elevator. I have bad knees and just told the guy at the little ticket booth near the stairs and he phoned for someone to bring the elevator down.

You can wait by the elevator, but it doesn't run a regular schedule up and down, so unless they are bringing someone down you could be waiting a long time unless you ask them for it.

Same with the return down from the gift shop level (when you take the elevator you will still have to go up and down one level). At the gift shop ask them to call down for the elevator. There's an attendant who rides with you.
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 01:04 PM
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We used the elevator last summer with my mother. I agree, it is easy to miss it. I don't read Wiki, but from enough research knew it existed. The time before (without mom) we just used the stairs, but with her I was glad it was there.
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