Fodor's Expert Review Porte St-Denis
Not as grandiose as the Arc de Triomphe, but triumphant nonetheless, Paris's second-largest arch (76 feet) was erected by François Blondel in 1672 to celebrate the victories of Ludovico Magno (as Louis XIV is here styled) on the Rhine. The bas-reliefs by François Girardon include campaign scenes and trophies stacked on shallow pyramids. The arch faces Rue St-Denis, formerly the royal processional route into Paris from the north. Last used as such by Queen Victoria in 1855, it's now known primarily for its sidewalk queens of the night, cheap eateries, and hip bars.