Who Had The Arc De Triomphe Built

The History

The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806. It was intended to serve as a monument to the glory of the French army and his own leadership. Inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome, it was intended to celebrate the glorious victories and honour the passionate patriotism of the French people. Its construction was complete in 1836, after 30 years of hard work and dedication from French craftsmen.

The Design

The Arc de Triomphe stands an impressive 50 meters tall and is located in the centre of Paris. It is central to two major avenues, the Champs-Élysées and the Avenue de la Grande Armée. It stands at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, opposite the Place de la Concorde, and symbolises the power of the French state. The façade of the Arc de Triomphe is 145 metres wide, with four large decorated doors. The top of the arch is adorned with relief sculpture of Alma Mater, the goddess of Victory, as well as allegorical figures of Brumaire and Strasbourg, which represent the two founding french republics.

Structure and Symbolism

The Arc de Triomphe is a masterpiece of architecture and a powerful symbol for both the French nation and military. Its enormous arches represent strength, unity, and stability. It stands as an embodiment of national and military power, honouring the soldiers who fought and died for their country. The Arc de Triomphe is also a symbol of French patriotism, showcasing the bravery and commitment of the French people. The names of more than 130 battles that French soldiers fought and died in are engraved along the side of the arch, a tribute to the many lives that have been lost throughout the centuries.

Visiting the Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe has become a popular tourist attraction to experience and appreciate the history behind it. Tour buses, taxis, and even metro lines are available for a safe and pleasant visit. Visitors can also ascend the steps up the arch to the top for a breathtaking view of Paris. At the base of the arch, one can find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, an eternal flame, and a memorial stone, paying tribute to all the French heroes who have died protecting its people.


The Arc de Triomphe is a powerful symbol of the French nation and a tribute to its history of military bravery and national pride. Despite its long journey of creation, it is still captivating visitors from near and far, and is a reminder of the heroic actions of those who have dedicated their lives in its service.

The Legacy

The Arc de Triomphe has a long and lasting legacy in French wider culture. It was an inspiration to a number of 19th-century French citizen movements, most notably the Paris Commune of 1871. Generations of artists, writers and intellectuals have been inspired by its majesty, as it is seen as a source of national pride and patriotism. It is also an iconic symbol of Paris, and is featured in many films and artworks.

Modern Relevance

Today, the Arc de Triomphe still stands proudly in the centre of Paris, and is an important landmark for political celebrations and remembrance services. The Last Post is still sounded under the arch every evening in remembrance of France’s fallen soldiers. Additionally, the Arc de Triomphe is a venue for a range of events, from international festivals to World Cup football matches.

Environmental Impact

The environmental cost of constructing the Arc de Triomphe is incredibly high. The limestone used for construction was mined from the quarries near Paris. The limestone was then moved to factories and processed before being transported to the construction site. This process involved lots of the burning of fossil fuels which produced a lot of CO2 and other pollutants. This has had a detrimental effect on the environment.


The Arc de Triomphe is also maintained regularly. It needs regular cleaning and repairs to maintain its beauty. Specialists are employed to identify and repair any changes in its structure to prevent it from deteriorating. There are also specialized teams of engineers who regularly check the arch’s foundation to make sure it is able to withstand the elements.

The Future

The Arc de Triomphe is an important cultural and national landmark, and should be maintained and protected for future generations. This can be done through well-funded and professional restoration and maintenance, both of the structure itself and its wider environmental impact. Ultimately, the future of the Arc de Triomphe and its legacy depends on the commitment of both the French government and the people to preserve and celebrate its history.

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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