Arc de Triomphe Paris

Arc de Triomphe Paris, the city’s main triumphal arch, is a dedication to those who fought for France, forming the western end of the famous Champs-Élysées.

The monument, at…

  • 49,5 meters (54 yards) in height,
  • 45 meters (49 yards) in width, and
  • 22 meters (24 yards) in depth…

…is and has been (since it was completed in 1836) one of the world’s most recognized landmarks and symbols of Paris.

Arc de Triomphe Paris France

PHOTO: A view to the triumphal arch from Champs-Élysées, towards La Défense district of Paris, where a more modern version of the triumphal arch, the Grande Arche, is located.

Triumphal arch of Paris France

PHOTO: Avenue de la Grand-Armeé side of the triumphal arch, as seen towards Louvre section of Paris’ “axe historique” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axe_historique).

French triumphal arch bas-relief Paris France

PHOTO: Within the lower sections of the triumphal arch, there are four bas-relief artworks…portraying late 18th and early 19th century events. Pictured is a bas-relief by Antoine Étex, “La Résistance de 1814”. The artwork is allegorical to French resistance in 1814, when, under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte, the country prepared to fight unified European forces, leading to the siege of Paris. In the artwork, a nude soldier prepares to defend the country with a sword on one hand, with his elderly father and his wife (with a child) on his feet, trying to keep the soldier from going. Behind the soldier, a bearded horseman falls from the saddle, symbolizing the patriots sacrifice for their country. In the background, a Spirit of the Future, with a flame rising from forehead and a sword in one hand, reminds the soldier of his duties for resistance.

VIDEO: Tour of the triumphal arch by Centre des monuments nationaux.

The triumphal arch was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806, and commissioned to be build by Napoleon Bonaparte.

The monument is a dedication to those who had fought for France, especially to commemorate the soldiers who fought at the Battle of Austerlitz, in 1806.

The style of the Arc de Triomphe is inspired by ancient monuments, especially the Arch of Titus (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arch_of_Titus) in Rome.

Within the arch architecture, you can see documentation of French military history’s greatest victories, including the names of the commanders who had fought for France.

Under the triumphal arch, there is a tomb for the unknown soldier with an eternal flame next to it…an addition to the monument from 1920, to commemorate those who fought and died anonymously at the First World War.

There is an annual memorial ceremony at the unknown soldiers tomb, November 11th, which is the anniversary day of the WWI peace accord between France and Germany, in 1918.

From the top of the Arc de Triomphe Paris monument, you can find an observation platform, where you’ll be able to get to using either the available elevator (which takes you 46 steps from the platform), or you can walk the entire way up, a route that has 284 steps.

At the top, you’ll be able to enjoy panoramic views over historic Paris and the twelve main routes that originate from the square.

Arc de Triomphe Paris
Address: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France
Official website: arc-de-triomphe.monuments-nationaux.fr

To get to the monument, one of the easiest ways is to use the Paris metro (lines M1, M2, and M6).

The closest metro station is at “Charles de Gaulle—Etoile“.