The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most iconic and beloved attractions in Paris. Even though the monument has stood for over 200 years, many are surprised to learn that its tall stature and massive size are in fact a part of its draw. The Arc de Triomphe stands 50 meters tall, or about 164 feet.
The grandeur of the Arc is not just in its dimensions, however. It is all about the incredible history that stands behind it, making it a great symbol of France’s culture and heritage. The Arc de Triomphe was first commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806, as part of his large-scale civil engineering project to commemorate the victories of the French Revolutionary War. It is adorned with sculptures of laurel-wreaths, and the famous inscription “Aux Grands Hommes La Patrie Reconnaissante” which means “To Great Men, A Grateful Homeland.”
The structure of the Arc de Triomphe was designed by Jean François Blondel, and the construction ended in 1836. The arc has a lot of symbolism within, depicting an idealized form of the French Republic. Some see the structure as a representation of the nation’s honor and dignity as a country. It stands at the western end of the Champs-Elysées, the most iconic boulevard in Paris, which also contributes to the monument’s symbolic significance.
It is not only a breathtaking monument, but also a hotspot for tourists and locals alike. The underground chambers beneath the Arc house a permanent exhibit that commemorates Franco-Prussian War, along with the graves of a number of French soldiers who died in the conflict. In addition, the Arc de Triomphe is one of the most popular attractions in the city and people flock to it to enjoy its impressive size and beauty.
The Arc de Triomphe is a powerful and touching symbol of France’s past, present and future. Its incredible presence in the French capital serves not only as an inspiration for visitors, but also as a reminder of the nation’s rich culture and history. It stands tall and proud, like a symbol of national pride and unity.
What is the Area of the Arc de Triomphe?
The area of the Arc de Triomphe is about 113,380 square feet. It has a through-arch style and a symmetrical composition that make it much larger than the average gate or arch. Its four façade walls are decorated with a lengthy inscription that reads “Aux Grands Hommes, La Patrie reconnaissante” (To the Great Men, a Grateful Homeland). Additionally, the arch is composed of two smaller arches that intersect at the triple archway.
Not only is its size impressive, but the structure of the Arc itself is quite complex. It has several different levels of staircases and interior tunnels, along with the two pillars on either side that make the arch complete. The Arc de Triomphe is also home to the eternal flame, which is a significant symbol of French military honors.
In terms of public access to the arch, the acres of land around the monument are open to the public every day, where visitors can observe the major milestones of French history. This can be done through the communal activities, events and organized tours that the monument offers.
Mythology Surrounding the Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe has a particular place in popular culture as well, immortalized in literature and film. One particular story is that of French General Joseph Joffre, who is said to have leaned out his office window to witness the Arc’s dedication ceremony. Joffre swore that one day, the famous five-pointed star on the uppermost slab of the main frieze would be cast in gold
Ultimately, this story has become a popular and beloved tale in French culture. Funnily enough, it only came to light after the Arc de Triomphe had been built and the star had already been cast in gold. It is further said that Joffre’s prediction was brought to life to commemorate France’s victory in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. Over the years, the story has been embellished, even thought it originates from nowhere. Regardless, it remains an important reminder of France’s historical journey.
The Arc de Triomphe also often appears in popular music, with the street directly beneath it taking its name from the song “The Champs-Élysées”, made famous by French singer Charles Trenet in 1936. Since then, the street and the Arc have become synonymous in the French imagination.
Purpose of the Arc de Triomphe Today
Today, the Arc de Triomphe is an important monument and a popular tourist site in Paris. It also serves an symbolic purpose. It is a reminder of the dignity of France, its military achievements, and a commemoration of its fallen heroes. To this day, the Arc serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives in battle, with an eternal flame that is kept burning at its base.
Furthermore, the Arc is often used for festivities and parades, and bears witness to France’s Independence Day, Armistice Day and other important national events. In recent years, the Arc de Triomphe has been the site of various kinds of protests and rallies, making it a symbol of contemporary change in French society.
Why is the Arc de Triomphe a Symbol of National Pride?
The Arc de Triomphe is a powerful symbol of national pride in France. It stands as a monument of history, a lasting reminder of France’s great heritage. It also stands for French patriotism, resiliency and courage, and is a reminder of national struggle and perseverance in the face of hardship.
The arc is a symbol of freedom, and its imposing form serves as a reminder of France’s proud history. In addition, the monument’s size and grandeur also evoke a sense of national pride- its large form commands respect and admiration from all who stand beneath it.
Finally, there is something about the Arc’s aesthetic beauty and presence in Paris that makes it instantly recognizable and endearing to all visitors and Parisians- it serves as a visual representation of the country’s beauty and legacy.
What Do Tourists Think About the Monument?
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the top tourist attractions in Paris and continues to draw visitors from all over the world. Tourists are consistently surprised and delighted by its size and impressive design, and love seeing the inscriptions and sculptures on its walls. Additionally, many visitors feel a sense of awe and respect in front of the arch, as they are reminded of all the history it represents, and all the tragedies that occurred in the past.
Visitors also enjoy the general atmosphere surrounding the monument, taking in the beauty of the Champs-Elysées and its other attractions. The arc is considered to be a great representation of French culture, an iconic symbol of the country, and as such, it continues to be an important part of many people’s Parisian experience.
Conclusion of History Behind the Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is an iconic monument in Paris and an example of France’s rich and diverse culture and history. The arch stands tall and proud, a symbol of national pride, military achievements, bravery and freedom. As Napoleon Bonaparte said at its dedication ceremony, “nothing is more important than a symbol”, and the Arc de Triomphe serves as just a reminder of this.
Not only is it a visual representation of the French history, but it also serves as an important landmark in the city, an eternal flame of remembrance, and a reminder of the unity and shared cultural past of the French people.