Picture of the Day: This is France
THIS IS FRANCE
In this perfectly timed photograph by Anthony Gelot, we see the PAF (French Acrobatic Patrol) doing a flyover of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Bastille Day (French National Day, July 14), as a French flag waves in the foreground. It was shared earlier this month on A.G Photographe’s Facebook and Flickr pages.
The Patrouille Acrobatique de France, also known as the Patrouille de France or PAF, is the precision aerobatic demonstration team of the French Air Force. Originating in 1931, it is the world’s oldest and one of the most skilled demonstration teams. Pilots currently fly the Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet. In 2009, the Patrouille de France achieved a world premiere when Commandant Virginie Guyot was appointed leader, becoming the first woman in history to lead a demonstration team. [Source]
The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle (originally named Place de l’Étoile), at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. It honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.
The monument stands 50 metres (164 ft) in height, 45 m (148 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep. The large vault is 29.19 m (95.8 ft) high and 14.62 m (48.0 ft) wide. The small vault is 18.68 m (61.3 ft) high and 8.44 m (27.7 ft) wide. It was the largest triumphal arch in existence until the construction of the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang, in 1982. [Source]
Bastille Day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In France, it is formally called La Fête Nationale. While the date is the same as that of the storming of the Bastille, July 14 was instead chosen to commemorate the 1790 Fête de la Fédération. It is a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic during the French Revolution.
Celebrations are held all over France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, French officials and foreign guests. [Source]