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Image de Stephanie Klepacki

Triumphal arch

The Arc de Triomphe, a majestic building located on the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, embodies both the architectural grandeur and historical heritage of France. Designed by architect Jean-François Chalgrin, this imposing triumphal arch was erected in honor of France's military victories and to commemorate fallen soldiers.

His history

The history of the Arc de Triomphe is closely linked to the greatness of France and its military heritage. Its construction was ordered by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806 to celebrate the victories of the French army and honor fallen soldiers.

Construction work on the Arc de Triomphe began in 1806, but due to the Napoleonic Wars and the fall of Napoleon, the project was interrupted several times. It was only in 1836, during the reign of Louis-Philippe, that the arch was completed and inaugurated.

Architect Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin is the genius behind the design of the Arc de Triomphe. He took inspiration from Roman architecture and designed an imposing monument with an arched vault. The sculptures and bas-reliefs that adorn the arch were created by talented artists of the time, such as Jean-Pierre Cortot, Antoine Étex and François Rude.

The Arc de Triomphe was erected on the Place de l'Etoile, at the top of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, one of the most famous thoroughfares in Paris. Its strategic location symbolizes the central role of France in European history and offers a breathtaking view of the city, which of course we highly recommend! But you will nevertheless have to be patient...

The monument has witnessed many historical events and national celebrations. The mortal remains of French soldiers from the First World War were buried under the Arc de Triomphe, and since 1921, an eternal flame has burned at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in tribute to all French soldiers who fell in battle.

The Arc de Triomphe is also the scene of military parades, commemorations and patriotic demonstrations. It embodies the feeling of national pride and recalls France's commitment to liberty, equality and fraternity.

Current exhibitions

The Flame of the Unknown Soldier

The Unknown Soldier symbolizes the tribute paid to all soldiers who fell in combat and whose bodies have never been identified. It represents the ultimate sacrifice made by many anonymous soldiers in the service of their homeland.

For the record, the day after Austerlitz (December 2, 1805), in his proclamation to his soldiers, Napoleon wrote: “I will bring you back to France. You will only return to your homes under triumphal arches.”

The concept of the Unknown Soldier emerged after World War I, a period when conflicts were on an unprecedented scale and many soldiers lost their lives without their bodies being able to be identified. It is in this context that many countries have decided to honor these anonymous soldiers by granting them a symbolic burial place.

In France, the Unknown Soldier has been resting under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris since 1921. His tomb is a place of contemplation and memory, where visitors can pay tribute to all the French soldiers who fell in combat, but also to all those who sacrificed their lives in defense of national values.

This embodies for us the collective mourning and the immensity of the human losses suffered during conflicts. It is also a symbol of gratitude to all the anonymous soldiers who fought for freedom, justice and peace. It reminds future generations of the high price paid for defending these ideals. You will perhaps feel, like us, the emotion that emanates from this place...

The eternal flame that burns on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a symbol of perpetuity, reminding us that the memory of these soldiers must never be extinguished. It is constantly maintained and revived during official ceremonies and commemorations.

His architecture

The architecture of the Arc de Triomphe is a neoclassical masterpiece that combines grandeur, symmetry and harmony. The building rests on a massive base and rises into an imposing structure crowned by an arched vault. The proportions of the arch are carefully calculated, with an impressive height and generous width that give the whole thing a striking majesty. It must be said that Paris offers us an incredible number of sublime monuments, but this one will probably win, in our opinion, a large number of votes!

The facade of the Arc de Triomphe is decorated with bas-reliefs and delicately carved sculptures which testify to the know-how of the sculptors of the time. Every detail has been carefully designed to create perfect symmetry. The bas-reliefs depict battle scenes and allegories of victory, emphasizing the importance of military exploits and the greatness of the nation.

The use of noble materials such as cut stone gives the arch exceptional strength and durability. The clean lines, classic ornaments and balanced proportions give the architecture of the Arc de Triomphe a timeless beauty that is admired by visitors from around the world.

At the top of the arch, a sculpted frieze displays the names of French generals and the great battles which marked the country's military history. These inscriptions pay tribute to the heroes and recall the sacrifices made in defense of the homeland. Every architectural detail testifies to the importance of the Arc de Triomphe as a monument dedicated to the memory of fallen warriors.

The arch design also offers a unique perspective on the city of Paris. From the top, visitors can admire spectacular panoramic views of the Champs-Élysées, Avenue de la Grande Armée and other iconic avenues. This strategic position gives the Arc de Triomphe a symbolic dimension, recalling the central role of France in European history.

Practical information

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