When Was The Arc De Triomphe Built

Background Information

The Arc de Triomphe is a monumental arch located in the center of Paris, France. It stands 50 meters tall, 45 meters wide, and 22 meters deep and is considered one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. Its construction started in 1806 under the rule of Emperor Napoleon, although the arch was not completed until 1836. It is part of the historic trail of monuments between the Louvre and the Grande Arche de la Défense called the ‘La Voie Triomphale’.


Construction on the Arc de Triomphe began on August 15, 1806, and was expected to be completed in 3 years, by August 15th 1809, in time for Napoleon’s planned victory parade. However, due to financial difficulties and political unrest, construction wasn’t completed until 1836. The arch was designed by Jean Chalgrin, and sculptural vaults of the arch were decorated by various artists, including François Rude, Antoine Étex, and Jean-Pierre Cortot.


Napoleon envisioned the arch as a monument to honour and celebrate the military victories of his Grande Armée. It also served as a reminder of France’s might and power over Europe. The engravings on the eastern and western sides depict a triumphant Napoleon leading his victorious troops and on the top of the arch, there is an inscription, composed by the poet René de Chateaubriand, which reads: “To the armies of the Republic and of Napoleon, The Senate and People of France rendered this tribute of their admiration and gratitude”.


Throughout its history, the Arc de Triomphe has been used for numerous celebrations and events. It has served as a venue for many military parades, including Napoleon’s coronation parade in 1810 and Paris’ liberation parade in 1945. It has also been the site of many national celebrations, such as Bastille Day, the anniversary of Napoleon’s birth, the centenary of the proclamation of the French Republic, and a world peace festival held in 1984.


The Arc de Triomphe has had a long-lasting impact on French culture and society. It has served as an inspiration to many artists and writers, including Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Émile Zola and Gustave Flaubert. It is also an iconic symbol of Paris and has been featured in many films and television shows, such as “Live and let Die”, “Midnight in Paris”, and “The Bourne Identity”.


The Arc de Triomphe has gone through numerous modifications and adaptations over the years, such as the addition of a viewing platform in 1823, a lighting system in 1830, and a restoration of the arch’s inscriptions and sculptures in 1997. In recent years, the arch has also been adapted for use as a public research center by the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie.


The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most recognizable symbols of the French nation and its long and complex history. It is a testament to the grandeur and magnificence of the French Empire and is a symbol of hope, peace and unity. As such, it continues to be an important and popular tourist attraction, drawing millions of visitors every year who come to experience its grandeur and see the city’s other renowned monuments.

Architectural Significance

The Arc de Triomphe is an impressive architectural structure in its own right. Its design is based on the iconic Roman arch, which features prominently in many of the grand medieval cities around Europe such as Venice, Amsterdam, Sofia and Vienna. It has strongly influenced the style of many public and private buildings in France and beyond, such as the war memorials in the United States.


The Arc de Triomphe serves as a source of inspiration for many other monumental arches around the world, such as the famous replicas located in New York and Washington D.C. Other replicas can be found in other major cities such as London and Madrid, as well as in many cities in Asia, South America and the Middle East.

National Symbolism

The Arc de Triomphe has become a national symbol in France, representing the nation’s history of greatness, courage and resilience. It has been used in numerous films, television shows, and video games to represent the country, its people, and its values. It is also an iconic symbol of the French Republic, serving as a reminder of their courage and determination in the face of adversity.

Contemporary Significance

Today, the Arc de Triomphe serves as an ever-present reminder of France’s greatness and its continued commitment to progress and progress. As such, it enjoys immense popularity among both locals and tourists alike. It is seen as a symbol of hope, unity, and strength and has become a powerful symbol of the French nation and its values.

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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