Constructed between 1806 and 1836 during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Arc de Triomphe stands as one of the most iconic monuments in Paris. The arch is located in the middle of the Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly the Place de l’Étoile), a roundabout at the western end of the Champs-Elysées. Standing 50 metres (164 feet) in height and 45 metres (148 feet) wide, the Arc de Triomphe dominates the skyline and has become a symbol of French nationalism.
The iconic monument is engraved with the names of great victories of the French army as far back as 1792. The names of generals Under Napoleon are also inscribed on its walls. An inscription found on the arc reads “La Nation Rend Hommage Aux Grands Hommes” which translates to “The nation honours its great men.”
The French architect Jean Chalgrin designed the Arc de Triomphe, though the project was overseen by Emperor Napoleon himself and was completed by Jean-Nicolas Huyot. In the very centre of the arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the First World War. Beneath the arch lies the Flame of Liberty, a commemorative flame lit by the French president since 1986 on 8 May every year – this fire is re-lit every night.
Numerous tourists visit the Arc de Triomphe annually and all around the arch are cafés, shops, banks and some of Paris’ best hotels. Furthermore, the Parisian traffic whizzes around and around the roundabout, the drivers honking their horns and the streets full of hurried tourists. It really is a lively spot in the city.
Despite being a major symbol of French nationalism, the Arc de Triomphe has come to stand for something more. Its very presence in the capital city of Paris marks the continued resilience and courage of the French spirit; it is a living monument for all to see.
A Little History
As mentioned earlier, the construction of the Arc de Triomphe began in 1806 and was completed in 1836. This timeframe spanned the reign of Emperor Napoleon, who commissioned and directed the project. He wanted the construction as a way to honour his victories in the battles and wars he was engaged in throughout his power. The main purpose of the arch was to commemorate Napoleon’s victories, and the names of these battles were inscribed with the names of the generals on the walls.
One of the symbols of the Arc de Triomphe is the flame of liberty. The monument was built as a tribute to bravery and courage; the flame symbolises freedom and is re-lit every night as a reminder of this courage. The monument also houses a tomb for the unknown soldier from the previous World War, along with two websites dedicated to the history and events surrounding the start of the arch.
Arc De Triomphe Location
The Arc de Triomphe stands in the very centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly the Place de l’Étoile) which is at the western end of the Champs-Élysées in Paris. It is a roundabout where nine roads intersect and is surrounded by numerous shops, cafés and banks.
In addition to locals and tourists, the Arc de Triomphe is also frequented by political dignitaries and public figures during important ceremonies. It is of importance for many, including the French president who lights the Flame of Liberty annually on 8 May. The flame has become a major symbol of the Arc de Triomphe.
Facts About The Arc De Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is considered to be one of the highest forms of French architecture as it stands in the very centre of Paris. Its presence signifies power, leadership and freedom and it is regarded as one of the most iconic monuments in France. Here are some interesting facts about the Arc de Triomphe:
- The Arc de Triomphe is located 50 metres (164 feet) high and 45 metres (148 feet) wide in the very centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle.
- The words “La Nation Rend Hommage Aux Grands Hommes”, which translates to “The nation honours its great men” are inscribed on the arch.
- The names of battles and the generals of Napoleon are also inscribed on the walls of the Arch.
- The Flame of Liberty is re-lit every night by the French president and is situated beneath the arch.
- A tomb for the unknown soldier from the First World War is located in the very centre of the arch.
Symbolism Of The Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is regarded as one of the most iconic monuments in Paris and has come to represent the French spirit of resilience and courage. It stands tall in the very centre of Paris, reminding tourists and locals of the French spirit that still stands strong despite all their difficulties. Furthermore, the flame of liberty further represents the courage of the French people and is a symbol of hope, freedom and bravery.
The tomb of the unknown soldier in the centre of the arc acts as a symbol of the loss of life during the war, while the engravings on its walls celebrate the victories of French forces. This sends a clear statement of French pride and national identity which has come to make it a popular attraction with tourists and locals.
Arc de Triomphe Museum
The Arc de Triomphe is such an important landmark in Paris that it has its own museum, which is located in the basement of the arch. The museum aims to provide visitors with an insight into the history of the arch, from its construction to its current standing. It also provides detailed information about the lives of the great men commemorated on the monument.
The museum displays a wide range of artefacts from both World Wars as well as memorabilia from the French Revolution. Visitors can learn more about the iconic monument and the battles fought for its construction. Information about the designers, Jean Chalgrin and Jean -Nicolas Huyot is also provided in the museum, alongside detailed plans and drawings of the Arc de Triomphe.
Admission To The Arc de Triomphe
Admission to the Arc de Triomphe is 12 Euros for adults and 6 Euros for students with a valid student ID. Additionally, free admission is offered to those who are under 18 and over 65, as well as European Union citizens under 26. Visitors can use their tickets for access to the museum and observation platform, where one can enjoy the beautiful views of Paris.
The monument also offers a number of special events throughout the year, such as guided tours, cultural activities and various exhibitions. These events are open to the public and are a good way to learn more about the history of the arch.
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most iconic monuments in Paris and a symbol of the French national identity. It was built as an ode to the bravery of the French people and has come to stand for much more. The monument is surrounded by nine roads and is visited by tourists, locals and dignitaries. In addition to its historical significance, the arc also houses a museum and special events for the public to enjoy.