Arc de Triomphe
Place Charles de Gaulle Etoile - 75008 Paris
Triumphal Arch dates back to 1806, when Napoléon
commissioned Chalgrin to build an arch to the glory of
the French Army. Construction on the Arch began in 1806,
restarted in 1825, and was not finished until 1836. The
Arc de Triomphe is built on the model of ancient
Triumphal Arches, but it stands alone because of its
monumental size: 50 meters tall and 45 meters wide (164
by 148 feet). The four magnificent high reliefs are
crowned by Rude's masterpiece, "The Departure of the
Volunteers in 1792".
The Arc de Triomphe has been the site of many patriotic remembrances. On December 15, 1840, the ceremonial procession bearing Napoléon's ashes passed under the Arch. The body of Victor Hugo lay in state all night under the Arch on May 22, 1885, before being buried at the Pantheon. On July 14, 1919, the victorious battle troops marched under the Arc de Triomphe, and the Unknown Soldier who died during the war was buried here November 11, 1920. Three years later, a flame was lit in memory of all who died in the war.