Statues in France

Arc de Triomphe

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 should not be confused with a smaller arch, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which stands west of the Louvre. The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for Fr ...
Founded: 1806 | Location: Paris, France

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is a triumphal arch built between 1806 and 1808 to commemorate Napoleon"s military victories of the previous year. The monument is 19m high. Around its exterior are eight Corinthian columns of marble, topped by eight soldiers of the Empire. The upper frieze on the on entablement has sculptures of soldiers: Auguste Marie Taunay"s cuirassier (left), Charles-Louis Corbet"s dra ...
Founded: 1806 | Location: Paris, France

Arles Obelisk

The Obélisque d"Arles is a 4th-century Roman obelisk, erected in the center of the Place de la République, in front of the town hall of Arles. The obelisk is made of granite from Asia Minor. It does not feature any inscription. Its height together with its pedestal is approximately 20 m. The obelisk was first erected under the Roman emperor Constantine II in the center of the spina of the Roman circus ...
Founded: 300-400 AD | Location: Arles, France

Canadian National Vimy Memorial

The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is a war memorial site in France dedicated to the memory of Canadian Expeditionary Force members killed during the First World War. It also serves as the place of commemoration for Canadian soldiers of the First World War killed or presumed dead in France who have no known grave. The monument is the centrepiece of a 100-hectare (250-acre) preserved battlefield park that encompasses a po ...
Founded: 1936 | Location: Vimy, France

Thiepval Memorial

The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme is a war memorial to 72,337 missing British and South African servicemen who died in the Battles of the Somme of the First World War between 1915 and 1918, with no known grave. A visitors' centre opened in 2004. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, Thiepval has been described as the greatest executed British work of monumental architecture of the twentieth century. The Memorial ...
Founded: 1932 | Location: Thiepval, France

The Burghers of Calais

Les Bourgeois de Calais is one of the most famous sculptures by Auguste Rodin, completed in 1889. It serves as a monument to an occurrence in 1347 during the Hundred Years" War, when Calais, an important French port on the English Channel, was under siege by the English for over a year. Calais commissioned Rodin to create the sculpture in 1884. The City of Calais had attempted to erect a statue of Eustache de Saint ...
Founded: 1889 | Location: Calais, France

Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial

The Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial is a memorial site in France dedicated to the commemoration of Dominion of Newfoundland forces members who were killed during World War I. The 74-acre (300,000 m2) preserved battlefield park encompasses the grounds over which the Newfoundland Regiment made their unsuccessful attack on 1 July 1916 during the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The Battle of the Somme was the regi ...
Founded: 1925 | Location: Beaumont-Hamel, France

Delville Wood South African National Memorial

The Delville Wood South African National Memorial is a World War I memorial, located in Delville Wood, near the commune of Longueval. It is opposite the Delville Wood Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, on the other side of the Longueval–Ginchy road. The memorial was unveiled on 10 October 1926. It was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, assistant architect was Arthur James Scott Hutton, with a sculpture by Alfred ...
Founded: 1926 | Location: Longueval, France

Montsec American Monument

The World War I Montsec American Monument is located on the isolated hill in Montsec. This majestic monument, commemorating the achievements of the American soldiers who fought in this region in 1917 and 1918, dominates the landscape for miles around. It commemorates reduction of the St. Mihiel Salient by the U.S. First Army, September 12-16, 1918, and operations of the U.S. Second Army, November 9-11. It also honors comb ...
Founded: 1932 | Location: Montsec, France

Wellington Quarry

20 metres below the pavements of Arras is the Wellington Quarry, a site immersed in memory and emotion. In November 1916, the British started preparing for the 1917 spring offensive. Their stroke of genius: to have the New Zealand tunnellers connect up the town’s chalk extraction tunnels to create a real network of underground barracks large enough to accommodate up to 24,000 soldiers. After a 20-metre descent in a glas ...
Founded: 1916 | Location: Arras, France

Pagode de Chanteloup

Two kilometres south of Amboise, the curious Pagode de Chanteloup was built between 1775 and 1778. The ‘Duke of Choiseul’s Folly’ or ‘Friendship monument’ was built after his exile from King Louis XV’s court as a token of his gratitude towards his loyal friends who stood by him. Clamber to the top for glorious views of the surrounding park and the forested Loire Valley. Picnic hampers a ...
Founded: 1775-1778 | Location: Amboise, France

Soissons Memorial

The Soissons Memorial is a World War I memorial located in the town of Soissons. The memorial lists 3,887 names of British soldiers with no known grave who were killed in the area from May to August 1918 during the German spring offensive. The battles fought by those commemorated here include the Third Battle of the Aisne and the Second Battle of the Marne. This is a free-standing memorial (one without an associated ceme ...
Founded: 1928 | Location: Soissons, France

Verdun Memorial

The Verdun Memorial is a war memorial to commemorate the Battle of Verdun, fought in 1916 as part of the First World War. It is situated on the battlefield, close to the destroyed village of Fleury-devant-Douaumont. It was built during the 1960s, financed by Maurice Genevoix and has been open to the public since September 17, 1967. It remembers both French and German combatants as well as the civilian populations lost du ...
Founded: 1967 | Location: Douaumont, France

Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial

The Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial is a World War I memorial in France, located on the outskirts of the commune of Neuve-Chapelle, in the département of Pas-de-Calais. The memorial commemorates some 4,742 Indian soldiers with no known grave, who fell in battle while fighting for the British Indian Army in the First World War. The location of the memorial was chosen because of the participation by Indian tro ...
Founded: 1927 | Location: Neuve-Chapelle, France

Courcelette Memorial

The Courcelette Memorial is a Canadian war memorial that commemorates the actions of the Canadian Corps in the final two and a half months of the infamous four-and-a-half-month-long Somme Offensive of the First World War. The Canadians participated at the Somme from early September to the British offensives end in mid-November 1916, engaging in several of the battles-within-the-battle of the Somme, including acti ...
Founded: 1916 | Location: Courcelette, France

Column of the Grande Armée

The Column of the Grande Armée is a 53 metre high Doric order triumphal column (modelled on Trajan"s Column and other triumphal columns in Rome). It was intended to commemorate a successful invasion of England (an invasion that never occurred), but it now commemorates the first distribution of the Imperial Légion d"honneur at the 'camp de Boulogne', by Napoleon to the soldiers of the Army ...
Founded: 1804/1841 | Location: Wimille, France

Battle of Agincourt Memorial

Azincourt (Agincourt in English) is a town where the key battle of the Hundred Years War took place here on October 25, 1415, in which English outnumbered forces under Henry V defeated a French army. It has gone down in legend as one of England"s greatest military victories. Henry"s army lost between 200 to 400 men (including the Duke of York and the Earl of Suffolk), while French casualties were estimated as hi ...
Founded: 1415 | Location: Maisoncelle, France

Battle of Crécy Memorial

Memorial of the battle of Crécy (26 August 1346) was built in the place of a windmill where the king of England waited for the attack of the king of France. The battle of Crécy was one of the most important battles of the Hundred Years" War because of the combination of new weapons and tactics used. The English knights knew the importance of being willing to fight dismounted elbow to elbow with the pike ...
Founded: 1346 | Location: Crécy-en-Ponthieu, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.