For two centuries, the Arc de Triomphe has proudly stood at the centre of the Place de l'Étoile in Paris. Offering panoramic views and 19th century sculptures, it is one of the most visited monuments in the French capital.
50 metres high, 45 metres long; the grand silhouette of the Arc de Triomphe is located at the west end of the renowned Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Requested by Napoleon I in 1806 to celebrate the glory of war heroes, the Arc de Triomphe was unveiled 20 years later by the King of France, Louis Philippe, who dedicated it to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire. Between these two dates, the construction of the monument experienced many revivals, which can be explored by visiting the Arc de Triomphe museum. Located inside the building, it offers multimedia activities, which enable visitors to explore the history of the monument and closely admire the most inaccessible sculptures.
A Patriotic Symbol
The Arc de Triomphe is a patriotic symbol as well as an historical monument. The tomb of an unknown soldier, killed in the First World War, has been lying at the base of the monument since 1921. An eternal flame has been burning at the tomb since 1923 to commemorate his memory, as well as the group of soldiers who died during battle. Traditionally, it is relit every evening at 6.30 P.M.
A Panoramic Platform
In addition to the sculptures, the museum and the eternal flame, the Arc de Triomphe retains another feature appreciated greatly by visitors in search of a little lift: a panoramic platform. Situated at the top of the monument, it offers an unobstructed view of the capital, from the Louvre to the Grande Arche de la Défense. Likewise, it gives the opportunity to admire the star surrounding the monument and formed by the 12 avenues around the Place Charles de Gaulle well known under its former name, Place de l'Etoile.
Not to be missed:
The tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the eternal flame
The details and sculptures retracing the history of the Revolution and the Empire, and notably the most celebrated among them, le Départ des volontaires (The Departure of the Volunteers), also known as la Marseillaise (The Marseillaise)
The museum focusing on the history of the monument