emblem of French patriotism
L'Arc de Triomphe
(The Arch of Triumph) is located at Place Charles de Gaule, at
the end of the Champs Elysées, a broad and famous avenue
in Paris. It is the largest triumphal arch in the world and commemorates
Napoleon Bonaparte's many victories.
arch was commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon I, shortly after his
victory at Austerlitz, but was only finished in 1836 during the
reign of Louis Philippe. Napoleon conceived of a triumphal arch
patterned after those of ancient Rome and dedicated to the glory
of his imperial armies. The structure was designed by Jean François
Thérèse Chalgrin (1739-1811). The arch measures
49.5 m (162 ft) in height.
are four huge relief sculptures at the bases of the four pillars.
These sculptures commemorate The Triumph of 1810 (Cortot); Resistance
and Peace (both by Etex); and The Departure of the Volunteers,
commonly known by the name La Marseillaise (Rude). The most famous
of its sculptural reliefs is La Marseillaise (1833-36) of François
day the Battle of Verdun started in 1916, the sword carried by
the figure representing the Republic broke off. The relief was
then hidden in order to avoid any interpretation as a bad omen.
around the top of the Arch are the names of major victories won
during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. The names of
less important victories, as well as the names of 558 generals
are engraved on the inside walls of the Arch. Those whose names
are underlined died in action.
the Arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the eternal
flame commemorating the dead of the world wars.
the Arch there is a small museum documenting its history and
14 July - the French National Day (known as the Bastille Day)
- a military parade down the Champs Elysées begins in
the Arch is located on a circle (the Place Charles de Gaule)
in the middle of twelve avenues, access to the Arch is made by
a pedestrial underground tunnel from the north side of the Champs
located inside the arch (284 steps) lead to the top. From its
roof there are spectacular views of Paris. On a clear day, people
can recognize many of the well-known monuments of Paris.
beautiful aerial view of the Étoile, or star in English,
with the Arc de Triomphe in its center. The avenue right in front
of the Arch is the Avenue des Champs Elysées. Continuing
clockwise are: Avenue Marceau, Avenue D' Iéna, Avenue
Kléber, Avenue Victor Hugo, Avenue Foch, Avenue de la
Grande Armeé, Avenue Carnot, Avenue Mac Mahon, Avenue
de Wagram, Avenue Hoche and Avenue Friedland.
Champs-Elysées, aux Champs-Elysées
Au soleil, sous la pluie, à midi ou à minuit
Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysées"
the song "Les Champs-Elysées", by Joe Dassin
me on the right in front of the Arch at the end of the Avenue
des Champs Elysées.
from the interior of the Arch.
of the many sculptures and inscriptions inside the Arch.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located beneath the Arch.
avenue in the picture is the Champs Elysées. At the end
of the avenue is located the Louvre Museum. It can be seen from
the top, but not in this picture because of the foggy sky. The
weather started to change when I was there and there was a very
heavy rain for about half an hour. From the top of the Arch we
can also see the top of the Church of the Dome, the Sacré-Coeur
and the Notre-Dame Cathedral (although very far), among others.
I could stay there for hours admiring the beautiful view of Paris.