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Arc de Triomphe facts

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Arc de Triomphe Paris

Arc de Triomphe facts: history and architecture of this Paris monument. In 1806, Napoleon, the victorious French Emperor, commissioned the Arc de Triomphe to commemorate his 1805 Austerlitz victory. Completed in 1836, the Arc de Triomphe, inspired by the Arch of Titus in Roma and one of the top monuments of the city, crowns the Champs-Elysées perspective. The tomb of the unknown soldier honors the 1 500 000 French soldiers who died during World War 1. Paris monuments.

Arc de Triomphe fast facts

Every year, 600 000 tourists visit the Arc de Triomphe, one of the most famous Paris monuments. A legacy of Emperor Napoleon, Arc de Triomphe is also the rallying point of French troops parading down the Champs-Elysées on Bastille day, July 14th, the French National Day.

Arc de Triomphe is a memorial dedicated to the 1 500 000 French soldiers who died during World War One. The view from the top of Arc de Triomphe over the twelve radiating avenues from it and the whole city of Paris is spectacular.

Arc de Triomphe facts: the monument.
Arc de Triomphe facts: the monument.

Arc de Triomphe history facts

Having won the Austerlitz battle against a Russo-Austrian army on December 2nd 1805, French Emperor Napoleon told his soldiers: "You will return home through archs of triumph". To honor his soldiers, Napoleon commissioned the Arc de Triomphe to French architect Jean Chalgrin in 1806. The construction was stopped in 1814 with the abdication of Napoleon and resumed in 1826. The Arc de Triomphe was completed in 1836 under French King Louis Philippe, the King who returned the ashes of the Emperor from Saint Helena Island to Napoleon's tomb in Paris.

Arc de Triomphe architectural facts

Triumphal arches are closely associated with the Romans. The triumphal arch was often used to commemorate victorious generals. The surviving Roman triumphal arches such as the Arch of Titus in Roma inspired many rulers up to the present day. Arches in the Roman style have been built in many cities around the world, most notably the Arc de Triomphe. The Arc de Triomphe in its turn has inspired arches in France, Mexico, North Korea surpassing its dimensions.

The Arc de Triomphe is 49m high, 45m wide, 22m deep. It is covered by sculptures including La Marseillaise by Francois Rude. The names of 128 battles fought by the French Republic and Napoleon between 1792 and 1814 are engraved on the walls under the vault with the names of the generals who fought them. The Arc de Triomphe and Place Charles de Gaulle, where it stands, are the beautiful hub of twelve radiating avenues including Champs-Elysées.

Arc de Triomphe vault
Arc de Triomphe vault

The model of Arc de Triomphe

The model of Arc de Triomphe is Arch of Titus in Rome. It was constructed around AD. 82 by Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus's victories, including the Siege of Jerusalem in AD 70. The arch of Titus has provided the general model for many triumphal arches erected since the 16th century. It is best known as the inspiror of the Arc de Triomphe's architecture. Emperor Napoleon was a fervent admiror of the Romans. Their style inspired the architecture and furniture style of the time. The most notable legacy of this influence is the Arc de Triomphe. The Arch of Titus measures 15.4 meters in height, 13.5 meters in width, 4.75 meters in depth. The inner archway is 8.3 meters in height, and 5.36 meters in width.

Titus arch in Roma
Titus arch was the model for Arc de Triomphe

World War One memorial facts

On November 11th 1920, an unknown soldier, meaning an unidentified soldier, was buried under the vault of the Arc de Triomphe, as a representative of the 1 500 000 French soldiers who died during World War One between 1914 and 1918. The idea to honor a French soldier who had died fighting for his country was broached in 1916 by an official in the city of Rennes, who had figured in much of the fighting. The idea gathered backing until, in December, 1919, more than a year after the end of the war, it reached Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau. He approved the idea, but proposed that a suitable tomb for an unknown soldier be installed in the Pantheon, the honorary burial place in Paris for France’s major historical figures. French veterans’ organizations argued that the unknown soldier’s burial place should be in a prestigious location reserved for him alone. They favored the Arc de Triomphe, originally built to honor military who died in the French revolutionary and Napoleonic-era wars. And so it was decided. Since 1923, at 6.30pm everyday, French war veterans and soldiers rekindled the Flame of Remembrance on the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Arc de Triomphe facts: The flame of remembrance at Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe facts: flame of remembrance

Arc de Triomphe resources

Information on Arc de Triomphe visits, hours, tickets
More Arc de Triomphe facts
Locate Arc de Triomphe on Paris map.
See Arc de Triomphe on a Paris tour.
Stay in a hotel near Champs-Elysées and Arc de Triomphe

Paris metro: Charles de Gaulle station, line 1, 6, RER A
Arc de Triomphe pronunciation

Paris facts | Paris history

Arc de Triomphe facts: Bastille day parade
Arc de Triomphe facts: Bastille day Parade

La Grande Arche

La Grande Arche in La Defense is now the world's tallest arch. In 1982, Francois Mitterand, the President of France, commissioned a new arch in the perspective of Arc de Triomphe. This time, the monument was built not to celebrate a military victory, but to celebrate humanity. Danish Architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen won the international competition for the design. The construction of this new Arc de Triomphe began in 1985. Unfortunately, the original architect of the Arche could not finish the monument as he resigned in 1986 before the monument was finish. His work was continued by French Architect Paul Andreu until the completion of the monument in 1989. The company that handled the construction project was Bouygues, the giant French civil engineering company.

The monument itself is a giant cube ( 108m x 110m x 112m ) projected onto three-dimensional world. Its design was firm yet decorated with elegance of glass and marble frames from Italy. The fragile marble has recently been replaced by granite on most of the surface. La Grande Arche.

Grande Arche in La Defense
Grande Arche in La Defense

Arc de Triomphe Mexico

The Monumento a la Revolución is the world’s second tallest arch and the tallest Arc de Triomphe. 67 meters in height, it is positioned in Plaza de la República in downtown Mexico City.

The building was originally designed as a legislative chamber, but the construction of the monument was interrupted by the Revolution. There was talk of demolishing the building, but instead it was modified and given a new role.

Unveiled in 1938, it contains the tombs of the revolutionary and post-revolutionary heroes Pancho Villa, Francisco Madero, Venustiano Carranza, Plutarco Elías Calles and Lázaro Cárdenas.

The world’s tallest Arc de Triomphe is in Mexico
The world’s tallest Arc de Triomphe is in Mexico

Arc de Triomphe North Korea

This monument was built to honour the Korean resistance to Japan from 1925 to 1945. The world’s second tallest Arc de Triomphe is 60 meters high and 50 meters wide. Built in 1982 from white granite, it commemorates Kim Il Sung’s role in resisting Japanese rule between 1925 and 1945. Built on the Triumph Return Square at the foot of Moran Hill the monument was built to honour and glorify President Kim Il Sung's role in the military resistance for Korean independence. Inaugurated on the occasion of his 70th birthday, each of its 25,500 blocks of finely-dressed white granite represents a day of his life up to that point.

The world’s second tallest Arc de Triomphe is in North Korea
The second tallest Arc de Triomphe is in North Korea

Arc de Triomphe paintings

The Arc de Triomphe is often painted in the perspective of the Champs-Elysées. Although none of the many famous painters who lived in Paris painted the Arc de Triomphe, there are a few lovely paintings of it.

Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées
(Louis-Marie de Schryver)
Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées and Lido
(Edouard-Leon Cortes)

Arc de Triomphe facts: Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées
Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées
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