Arc de Triomphe

Paris, France

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 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 triumphal arch was commissioned in 1806 after the victory at Austerlitz by Emperor Napoleon at the peak of his fortunes. Laying the foundations alone took two years and, in 1810, when Napoleon entered Paris from the west with his bride Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria, he had a wooden mock-up of the completed arch constructed. The architect, Jean Chalgrin, died in 1811 and the work was taken over by Jean-Nicolas Huyot. During the Bourbon Restoration, construction was halted and it would not be completed until the reign of King Louis-Philippe, between 1833 and 1836, by the architects Goust, then Huyot, under the direction of Héricart de Thury. On 15 December 1840, brought back to France from Saint Helena, Napoleon's remains passed under it on their way to the Emperor's final resting place at the Invalides. Prior to burial in the Panthéon, the body of Victor Hugo was exposed under the Arc during the night of 22 May 1885.

The monument stands 50 metres in height, 45m wide and 22m deep. Its design was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus. The Arc de Triomphe is built on such a large scale that, three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919 (marking the end of hostilities in World War I), Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane through it, with the event captured on newsreel.

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Details

Founded: 1806
Category: Statues in France

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Benjamin Meade (8 months ago)
Excellent sight. Make sure you look closely at each part as there are beautiful sculptures commemorating important historical events. Spend some time learning about each sculpture. Beautiful piece of history here!
Nathan Clements (8 months ago)
Great view of the whole of Paris. Had brilliant luck with clear blue skies and could see for miles. Very little queue (late morning Friday). Stairs were quite tight, steep, and worn.
Bharat Jain (8 months ago)
I feel Arc De triumph is much more then its history. In today's world Arc de Triumph and Champs Elysee's are need to be discussed together. The Avenue is a paradise for Shoppers. I am amazed to see the transformation of street from day time to night time. One must visit Paris twice Once in Day time and Second in Night time.
Mohsin Munir (9 months ago)
This is a Paris’ Icon and I recommend you take the time to get up close and not just pass it by or view it from a distance as it’s a remarkable historical monument to many fallen heroes. Beautiful structure, we (me & friends) went in the afternoon, and then walked down a sweeping boulevard to the river. As soon as you come out of the Metro on the escalator, it's right in front of you. Watch out for groups of people trying to get you to sign up for things! There are a lot of people in the area generally, lots of tour groups, and the traffic is insane! Please use the underground walks way!! Once at the Arc, itself it's nice to walk around, you can pay to go up to the top if you like. PS: Make sure you go to the top! For the best view of Paris, be sure to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. It is a fair climb to the top but you won’t be disappointed as it provides a wonderful alternative view of the city. We visited at day and the unobstructed view of the entire city was amazing. It's a better view than going to the top of the Eiffel Tower because you can see the Eiffel Tower.
Lorenzo Maglio (10 months ago)
It's famous and it's amazing. Even my cat knows that. If you are in Paris you HAVE to visit it. It's probably the most beautiful monument with the tomb of Napoleon. If you happen to gen a nice and clean day (yes I know, Paris...) the monument shines. Now please have a look at the 1 and 2 star reviews if you want to have a good time.
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