History and Details of the Monument
The Arc de Triomphe stands at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle in the heart of Paris, France. It is the most iconic of monuments in the city and dates back to 1806, when it was commissioned by Emperor Napoleon I. The massive triumphal arch has become a powerful symbol of the country and its people and has been featured in many dramas, most notably in the movie ‘La Grande Évasion’. The construction of the arch is believed to have costed around 6 million francs, an exceedingly expensive venture at the time. The monument was officially completed in 1821 and, since then, has stood as a statement of French pride, representing national glory and freedom.
Special Historical Significance
The Arc de Triomphe honours the dead soldiers who fought for the French Republic and for Napoleon. Its inscription reads, “Dedicated to the glory of French soldiers,” to highlight their bravery and strength, and is a popular site for celebrations, tributes and ceremonies. Perhaps the most striking feature of the monument is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which was installed beneath the arches in 1920 to commemorate all of the unknown soldiers who sacrificed their lives in WWI. The Arc remains a sacred monument dedicated to them and their heroic deeds.
Price and Ticket Cost
The Arc de Triomphe does not cost anything to view and is freely open to the public. However, if visitors wish to climb to the top of the arch, they need to buy a ticket. The ticket costs 8 EUR for adults, 6 EUR for students, and visitors of all ages can enjoy free admission on the first Sunday of every month. The ticket allows guests to climb the 284 steps to the top for a spectacular view of the surrounding area. Additionally, the museum at the bottom of the arch is also open to the public with no entry cost.
Light Show on the Monument
The Arc de Triomphe is also used as a backdrop for a grand light show during the ‘Grande Paradis’ festival in Paris. It proves to be an iconic and mesmerising setting, no matter how many times one visits. The light show includes exciting scenes projected onto the arch, changing colours, 3D images and even firework displays. It captures the essence of the city and a celebration of French culture and history. The show was first introduced in 2007 and has since become a popular event, no doubt due to the spectacular setting in which it takes place.
Maintenance, Restoration and Upkeep
As one of the most expensive monuments ever to be constructed in France, the Arc de Triomphe requires considerable upkeep to keep it in optimal condition. It must be maintained regularly and restored whenever necessary to maintain its grandeur and magnificence. In 2009, the arch underwent renovations to strengthen the structure and was fitted with an internal lighting system. This renovation required a sum of 7.8 million Euros and was funded by the French government.
Economic Benefits and Tourist Attractions
The Arc de Triomphe has brought a number of economic benefits to Paris in the form of the tourist industry, enabling the city to bring in a substantial amount of money each year. The arch is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city and thousands of visitors come each year to admire its immensity and beauty. The city of Paris has also benefited from the artefacts and relics, showcased in the museum within the arch, which attract a lot of tourists from all over the world.
Fascinating Facts About the Monument
The Arc de Triomphe stands at an impressive 50 metres in height, with its two wings stretching out to 44 metres in length, making it one of Europe’s largest monuments. Additionally, engraved on the arch are the names of all the generals who fought in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. It has long been a cultural symbol of pride and patriotism and continues to be Paris’ most important landmark.
Evaluation of the Impact of the Monument
The Arc de Triomphe represents a significant part of French history and stands as a reminder of their heroic past, as well as their present-day triumphs. From an economic standpoint, it has brought prosperity to the Parisian region in the form of the booming tourist industry, allowing for the continued regeneration and growth of the area. Furthermore, the arch stands as an example of French architecture and symbolises the country’s progress and advancement since the time of the Napoleonic Wars.
Environmental Effects it has on Paris
Given the size of the monument, the Arc de Triomphe does not have a dramatic effect on the environment. However, there is potential for the near 7000 tourists that visit the site each day to be irresponsible when it comes to trash disposal. Tourists tend to throw away wrappers and other non-biodegradable materials, causing a negative effect on the environment of Paris. Therefore, it is important to be aware of one’s responsibility as a visitor of the monument and to take necessary measures to ensure minimal environmental damage.
Where We Find its Design Influences
The Arc de Triomphe is modelled on the Arch of Titus in Rome, the Roman monument that was built to commemorate the victory of Emperor Titus. Its design also bears influences from other prominent monuments in Europe, such as the Porte Saint-Denis and the Porte Saint-Martin in Paris, and takes inspiration from the Arc de Constantini in Constantinople. Its composition and arrangement is also reminiscent of classic Greek and Roman architecture, which makes it a truly timeless and splendid sight.
Further Inspiration it has incited
The power and grandeur of the Arc de Triomphe has influenced many other monuments across the world. The Gateway of India in Mumbai, India was inspired by the arch, as well as the Arc de Triomf in Barcelona, Spain. Meanwhile, the Washington Monument in the United States was intended to mimic it in scale and magnitude, but ended up being taller than the original. The Arc de Triomphe has come to be an inspiring and formidable treasure of France, admired around the world.