How Much Did The Arc De Triomphe Cost To Build


The Arc de Triomphe (“Triumphal Arch”) is an iconic structure located at the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle in Paris. An instantly recognizable symbol of the city, it is the tallest triumphal arch in the world, standing 50 meters (164 feet) high. The arch was built to honor those who fought for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, particularly during the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805.

Work on the arch began in 1806 and it was completed in 1836 during the reign of King Louis-Philippe. It was built using funds raised by public subscription, and it cost 21.3 million French francs to build, or around €19.7 ($22) million in today’s money. An additional 5.1 million francs was spent on the decorations and mosaics.

Today the arch is a tourist attraction, with over 5 million visitors each year. It is also an important symbol of French identity, and a focal point of national ceremonies and events.

Re-construction Costs

Over the years, the arch has undergone several large-scale renovations and repair works. One of the most important was during the mid-1930s, during which the arc was restored to its original 1836 state. This work included the removal and re-installation of the sculptural groups, replacements for the medallions, and strengthening of the structure for which the Prefecture of Paris paid a total of 4 million French francs. This restoration of the Arc de Triomphe was organized by the Ministry of Public Works.

During the 1950s, further repairs were carried out on the arch, including stabilizing and waterproofing. This work was led by Étienne Boissonnas, who was in charge of the restoration works at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The cost of the 1950s restoration was around 3 million francs.

In 1988, the Arc de Triomphe was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a further two restorations were carried out in the 1980s and 1990s in conjunction with UNESCO. The total cost of these works was estimated at around 19.8 million francs.

Fees Collected

In order to cover the Arch’s restoration and maintenance costs, the City of Paris levies fees from visitors and tourism companies. Entrance fee for the Arc de Triomphe is €12 per person for adults, €9 for youth, and free for children under 18 and members of the European Union. Schools, associations and local authorities are also exempt from the entrance fee.

The City of Paris invested €12 million between 2003 and 2006 for the arch’s structural repairs, the lighting, and the installation of new elevators. In addition to the entrance fees, revenue from the arc is generated through commercial leases, rental of event spaces, and advertising revenue. This income is reinvested in the arch’s maintenance and improvement works.

Monumental Significance

The Arc de Triomphe is an iconic symbol of French national identity. It is an enduring reminder of the country’s rich history and its unique culture. The arch is a popular tourist attraction, and a major focal point of several national ceremonies and events, including the Bastille Day military parade and the celebration of sporting champions.

The arch also has an important symbolic meaning, being a tribute to those who fight for France. The names of all French victories and generals are inscribed on the inner and outer surfaces of the arc, as well as on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the arch. This inscribed and engraved history serves as a reminder of France’s past, and is a source of national pride.

Proposed Developments

In recent years, plans have been proposed to alter the area around the arc. In order to increase the size of the historic square and reduce traffic congestion, the developer Bruno Seillière proposed demolishing five buildings close to the arc and creating a pedestrian zone in their place. The plan also included the construction of a double-level underground garage, a new metro station and a shopping center. The project was estimated to cost €400 million to build, but was met with strong opposition from local residents and historians, who argued that the plan would destroy the integrity of the historical site.

Although the plan was ultimately rejected, the City of Paris has expressed its support for improvement works that would enhance the public realm of the surrounding area by making it more open and accessible for pedestrians. An improvement plan for the wider area has been proposed by the Paris Urban Development Agency (SAPI/MTES), which includes “pedestrianization, landscape works, water infrastructure, and conservation works on the historic buildings”.

Maintaining the Monument

Maintenance of the arch is a challenge due to its size and the intense foot traffic it receives. The monument is exposed to wind, sun, rain and snow, which can lead to erosion, crumbling, and discoloration of the structure. In order to preserve the integrity of the monument, maintenance and restoration works are carried out on a regular basis.

A team of professional craftsmen and art historians work to preserve and maintain the arch. Repairs and maintenance works are carried out regularly by the Department of Monuments and Buildings at the Ministry of Culture’s Directorate of Heritage and National Monuments. They are responsible for the conservation of the structure, as well as the upkeep and maintenance of the sculptures and interior mosaics.

The maintenance and restoration works on the Arc de Triomphe require regular funding in order to keep the structure sound and safe. Ongoing maintenance is essential in order to ensure that this great symbol of France’s history and culture will endure for future generations to enjoy.

Fundraising Events

In order to generate funds for preserving and maintaining the arc, the Arch of Triumph Foundation organizes fundraising events such as gala dinners, concerts, and art exhibitions. The Foundation also organizes guided visits of the arc, as well as a “Friends of the Arc de Triomphe” society which allows members to contribute donations and receive updates on conservation works.

In addition to fundraising, the Foundation also promotes public awareness of the arc and its history. The Foundation organizes workshops and lectures for school children and adults, and has published a number of books about the monument. The Foundation also produces guides and information materials about the arc.

Conclusion of Construction

At the time, the construction of the Arc de Triomphe was a huge undertaking that required a massive amount of dedication and skill from the architects, engineers and craftsmen involved. The building of this iconic structure was funded mainly by public subscription, and it cost 21.3 million in 1836. Over the years, additional funds were invested in the arch, including 4 million French francs in the mid-1930s and 9.8 million in the 1980s and 1990s.

Today, the monument is an important part of France’s national identity and a top tourist attraction. It is also an irreplaceable reminder of the nation’s long and illustrious history. In order to ensure the preservation of the Arc de Triomphe for future generations, regular maintenance and repair works are carried out, and funds are generated through the entrance fees, commercial leases, and fundraising events.

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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