The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most popular architectural monuments located in the city of Paris in France. It is situated in the center of Place Charles de Gaulle which is at the western end of Champs-Elysees. Called the Triumphal Arch if translated into English, the Arc de Triomphe is a monument that was built to honor the French soldiers who fought and died for the country during the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars.
Arc de Triomphe History
The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned to be built by French Emperor Napoleon sometime in 1806 after his victory at Austerlitz. The foundations for the monument were laid in 1808 and took almost two years to complete. Construction of the monument was halted around 1814 at the time of the Bourbon Restoration. Work on the monument resumed around 1833 during the reign of King Louis Philippe. It was eventually completed and then inaugurated in 1836.
Arc de Triomphe Profile
The Arc de Triomphe is a colossal monument that stands 50 meters high, 45 meters wide and 22 meters deep. It is considered as the second largest triumphal arch in the world, after the Arch of Triumph built in Pyongyang, North Korea. Its initial architect was Jean Chalgrin. When Chalgrin died in 1811, the task was taken over by Hericart de Thury.
Arc de Triomphe Design
The Arc de Triomphe was designed by Jean Chalgrin with the ancient Roman Arch of Titus serving as its prime inspiration. It takes in the Neoclassical version of the ancient Roman architecture. The monument contain several sculptural elements and features. It contains 4 main sculptures and 6 reliefs which are sculpted on the facades of the Arch that represented the important moments during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.
Other important features of the Arch include the engravings on the attic of some of the great battles during the two wars. There is a list of French victories that are also engraved under the great arches on the internal facades of the monument. Also on the inner facades of the small arches, a list of names of French military leaders during the two wars are engraved. Located beneath the Arc lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The body was interred at its present location on Armistice Day 1920. It has an eternal flame which burns in the memory of the dead soldiers who were never identified.