At last we got the opportunity to see and climb to the top of the most famous triumphal arch in the world, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Although Napoleon Bonaparte ordered its construction in 1806, to commemorate the victory in the battle of Austerlitz, it was during the mandate of Louis-Philippe that it was completed in 1836. Its construction lasted thirty years and its architect was Jean-François Chalgrin.
The Arch of Triumph is located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, on the Charles de Gaulle Plaza. It has a height of 50 meters, a width of 45 meters and a depth of 22 meters. The large vault measures 29.19 meters high by 14.62 meters wide, while the small one measures 18.68 meters high by 8.44 meters wide. It is managed by the National Monuments Center.
At the base of the Arc de Triomphe is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument erected in 1921 with an ever-burning flame that represents all the Frenchmen that died during World War I and were never identified.
About the lighted flame, it is said that two years after the burial of the remains of the Unknown Soldier, André Maginot, then Minister of War, supported the project to install there what he called a “flame of remembrance”. It was lit for the first time on November 11, 1923 by the Minister. This eternal flame is, together with that of the altar of the Fatherland in Rome, the first of its kind since the extinction of the flame of the Vestals in 391. It commemorates the memory of the soldiers who died in combat and is never extinguished. The flame is revived every evening at 18:30 hours or 6:30 p.m. by associations of veterans or war victims.
Engraved on the four pillars of the arch are the names of the battles won by the Napoleonic armies and those of 558 French generals, some of whom died in combat and their names are underlined.
It can be said that the Arch of Triumph in Paris has witnessed moments that have marked the history of France. Among these events one can highlight the passage of the mortal remains of Napoleon on December 15, 1840 and the military parades of the two world wars in 1919 and 1944.
Although lower than the height of the Eiffel Tower, the panoramic views from the top of the Arc de Triomphe are spectacular. You can walk around it completely and get to appreciate Paris from another point of view. We recommend buying tickets to climb the Arc de Triomphe in advance online. The queue moves faster and ensures your entrance.