Arc de Triomphe

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A Monumental Triumph: Exploring the Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe, also known as the “Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile” (Triumphal Arch of the Star), is one of the most iconic monuments in Paris, France. It stands proudly at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, one of the city’s most famous avenues. Here’s a description of this historic landmark:

Architectural Style

The Arc de Triomphe is a prime example of Neoclassical architecture, which draws inspiration from ancient Greek and Roman design elements. It features a monumental and symmetrical design with clear geometric lines and proportions.


The arch stands at a height of 50 meters (164 feet), making it one of the tallest triumphal arches in the world. It is also quite wide, measuring approximately 45 meters (148 feet) in length and 22 meters (72 feet) in width.


Commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806 after his victory at Austerlitz, construction began in 1808 and was completed in 1836, long after Napoleon’s reign ended. The architect responsible for the design was Jean Chalgrin, who aimed to create a grand monument that would celebrate the military achievements of the French army.

Decorative Elements

The Arc de Triomphe is adorned with intricate bas-reliefs and sculptures that depict various scenes from French history and military campaigns. The most famous of these is the “Departure of the Volunteers in 1792,” commonly known as “La Marseillaise,” sculpted by François Rude. This powerful sculpture symbolizes the patriotic spirit of the French Revolution.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Beneath the arch lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. This memorial honors the unidentified soldiers who gave their lives during the conflict, and it is a place of remembrance and reverence for visitors.

Architectural Features

The arch is characterized by its massive stone structure, a central passageway for vehicular traffic, and two pedestrian walkways. On top of the arch, you can see a panoramic viewing platform that offers breathtaking views of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the city’s layout radiating outward from this central point.

Historical Significance

The Arc de Triomphe is closely tied to France’s military history and has been the site of numerous military parades and national celebrations. It also serves as a symbol of France’s enduring spirit, resilience, and triumphs.

Visitors to the Arc de Triomphe can explore its interior museum, climb to the observation deck for magnificent city views, and appreciate the architectural grandeur and historical significance of this iconic monument. It continues to be a symbol of national pride and is an integral part of Paris’s rich cultural heritage.

Please Note: The details shared herein were correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.

Well worth it!

May 13, 2024

Peter Curry

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Arc de Triomphe


Well worth it!

May 13, 2024

Peter Curry

Arc de Triomphe

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