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No Small Affair: A Twilight Moment Atop the Arc de Triomphe

Crafting an exceptional new event at a world-famous monument takes creativity and a collaborative spirit.

Photo credit:

Patrick Müller - CMN

Our romantic new Arc de Triomphe experience was inspired by seeing how guests loved the journey we created for “The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped,” the monumental project of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, in 2021. How magical would it be to bring guests to the Arc’s rooftop to drink in the magnificent 360-degree views as twilight settles over Paris?

To bring our idea to life, we first had to get the Arc’s team onboard. The Centre des Monuments Nationaux (CMN) manages almost 100 of France’s most important monuments, including the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, the walls of Carcassone – and, of course, the Arc.

Responsible for promoting, preserving and restoring these treasures of French history, the CNM is always looking for new and creative ways to open up their monuments to the public, to raise funds to continue vital conservation work.

That’s where Secret Journeys comes in.

Our ideas spring from the desire to showcase a monument in its finest light for our guests, and here we find common cause with the sites: We all want to bring these treasures to new audiences. With the CNM we’ve already co-created journeys at the Hôtel de la Marine and the Colonne de Juillet.

The collaborative spirit is a vital part of the process, says Philippe Hertzberg, Secret Journeys founder. “An element of creative tension is key to bringing these events to life. When we start talking with the institution about the possibility of a new experience, we engage them in co-creating something new and innovative, hand-in-hand with us. We want our guests to be excited about the experience, but the first step is to get the institution excited.”

The Arc management team was immediately interested in the idea, but there was a range of details to work through, with access and security topping the list. Working together, we found solutions.

All the hard work paid off, and today, we are delighted to be able to bring this experience to our guests: a private, after-hours storytelling experience of the Arc de Triomphe with spectacular panoramic views as the Eiffel Tower glitters over the Paris skyline.  

 We’re constantly working with our various partners to develop new experiences and open magnificent places to private groups. Whatever your desire or passion, we can curate the bespoke visit of your dreams.

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