Commissioned by Emperor Napoleon, the Arc de Triomphe is a famous Paris monument. At the top end of Champs Elysees, it superbly ends the longest perspective in the city. Its top platform, accesible by lift, provides a spectacular view.
The incredible beauty of Paris is evident when you look at her from the top of the Arc de Triomphe monument. The Arc de Triomphe stands in the middle of Place Charles de Gaulle, historically known as Place de l'Étoile (Star circle) and a high point up the Champs Elysees Avenue.
Place de l'Etoile is the hub of a series of twelve radiating avenues, one of the most spectacular urban planning project in the city. The most famous of these twelve avenues are the Champs Elysees, Avenue de la Grande Armee leading to La Defense business district and Avenue Foch, the most fancy residential avenue in the city of lights.
Look towards the Champs Elysees Avenue and the Louvre Museum 5km east on a straight line (picture). Look towards La Defense 5 km west (picture). Look towards the imposing Eiffel Tower at a distance (picture). This is altogether one of the top 360° panoramic views of Paris.
Top Paris monuments.
Locate Arc de Triomphe on Paris map.
Opening hours: from 2 January to 31 March, open every day 10am to 10.30pm. From 1st April to 30 September, open every day 10am to 11pm, from 1st October to 31 December, open every day 10am to 10.30pm.
Paris metro: Charles de Gaulle, line 1, 6, RER A . Tel: +33 (0)1 55 37 73 77. Arc de Triomphe entrance fee: 12 euros.
If you don't have much time, you can see the Arc de Triomphe on a Paris guided tour. Information. Alternatively, see Arc de Triomphe on the classical Paris triumphal way walking tour. A visit of Arc de Triomphe takes less than two hours. See details on Arc de Triomphe web site.
Arc de Triomphe is 49m high, 45m wide, 22m deep. By comparison, the Constantine Arch in Roma (312 ac) is 21m high, 25.7m wide, 7.4m deep.
Jean Chalgrin design is a neoclassical version of ancient Roman architecture. The major academic sculptors of France are represented in the sculpture of the Arc de Triomphe. The most renowned of them all, the Departure of the Volunteers, which is commonly called La Marseillaise, is by Francois Rude. In the attic above the richly sculptured frieze of soldiers there are 30 shields engraved with the names of major revolutionary and Napoleonic military victories. The inside walls of the monument lists the names of 558 French generals with the names of those who died in battle being underlined. Also inscribed on the shorter sides of the four supporting columns, you can see the names of the major battles of the Napoleonic wars.
After his 1805 Austerlitz victory, Emperor Napoleon, an admiror of the Romans, commissioned in 1806 the Arc de Triomphe to commemorate his many victories. Architect Jean-Francois Chalgrin was hired to propose the best possible location. Based on his study, Napoleon selected the Place de l'Etoile. Chalgrin was inspired in his design by the Roman Arch of Titus in Roma, but went beyond it by exceptional dimensions. The first stone was symbolically laid that year on Napoleon's birthday, August 15th. In 1810, Chalgrin finished revising the plans which became the framework for completing the structure over the next 26 years. With Napoleon's abdication in 1814, all work on the Arc de Triomphe was halted even though more than a third had already been constructed. After the July Revolution of 1830, King Louis-Philippe ordered the Arc de Triomphe to be completed to honor the Revolutionary and Imperial armies, leaders, and victories. The Arc de Triomphe was finally completed in 1836. Paris history