The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and my first visit.
This was my first visit to a “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”. I clearly remember the sadness and emotions that I felt that morning when I saw it for the first time. War is unnecessary. It affects the lives of many innocent people and leaves a trail of devastation. How fortunate are the ones that have never been subject to war. Since then I have visited tombs of the Unknown soldiers in other countries and I always feel the same sadness. It creeps up on you like a thick fog and it is very difficult to shake.
To honour the soldiers of World War I, the Arc de Triomphe became the house of the “Tomb of the Unknown soldier”. There is an inscription on the tomb that reads “ Ici Repose un Soldat Français Mort pour La Patrie 1914-1918” and it means “Here lies a French soldier who died for his fatherland 1914-1918“.
There is a flame of Remembrance on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier . The significance of the flame is to pay tribute to the dead, who were never identified during World War I and II.
Interesting fact about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
• After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, his wife requested that an eternal flame, like the one present on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, be placed next to her husband’s grave.
When is the best time to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?
The best time to visit is every evening at 6:30 when the flame is rekindled. It is a beautiful time of the day and afterwards you can climb up the Arc de Triomphe to have a breathtaking view of the city. Or if you want to beat the crowds go early in the morning or buy your ticket online.
Hours of Operation:
Open from April 1 to September 30 : 10am – 11pm
October 1 to March 31: 10am – 10:30pm
Last call half an hour before closing.
Closed on January 1, May 1, May 8 (am), July 14(am), November 11 (am), December 25
Cost: €9, free under 18
Tips for visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris:
Be wary of the traffic circle that surrounds the arch. It is infamous for accidents—including one several years ago that involved the French transport minister. Use the underground passage from the northeast corner of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.