TDWant to know more about this well-known French structure? You’ll learn all the interesting information about the Arc de Triomphe in this article that you probably didn’t know previously.
Throughout Paris and around France, the Arc de Triomphe is among the most well-known structures. In order to see this towering structure, more than 1.5 million visitors from all over the world come to Paris each year.
A perfect symbol of France’s fortitude and resiliency is the imposing and strong Arc de Triomphe. This triumphal arch is today arguably one of the most recognisable military structures in the world.
Although if you have probably seen the Arc de Triomphe before, either in person or in other online publications, you might not be aware of its fascinating history.
Here are 20 fascinating Arc de Triomphe facts that can help you understand more about this Parisian landmark, from what motivated its building to numerous global events associated with the monument.
20 the Arc de Triomphe facts
1. Arc de Triomphe was ordered by Napoleon I.
Napoleon I ordered the construction of the Arc de Triomphe in 1806, only two years after he effectively overthrew the French government and proclaimed himself Emperor of France.
The Austerlitz triumph and several other significant conflicts, such as the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, were commemorated by the construction of the arch.
The formidable French army, which at the moment had taken control of the majority of Europe, was to be praised by the Arc de Triomphe.
Here’s another interesting tidbit about the Arc de Triomphe that you might not be aware of. Some claim that because the building began on Napoleon’s birthday, August 15, 1806, it may have been a covert birthday present for the dictator.
2. Building it took thirty years.
At long last, on July 29, 1836, the Arc de Triomphe was finished. Sadly, because of the lengthy construction period,
Neither Napoleon I nor Jean Chalgrin, who served as both the commissioning authority and the original architect, survived to see it completed.
The lengthy construction process is thought to have resulted from Napoleon and Chalgrin overly ambitious ideas. Just laying the arch’s foundation took more than two years due to how large it was.
Also, after Napoleon abdicated in 1814, the building stopped. Only until the monarchy was restored in 1823 did King Louis XVIII decide to pick up the project again.
The Arc was ultimately opened on July 29, 1836, after years of building under the watchful eye of numerous authorities and architects.
3. Its wooden replica was also commissioned by Napoleon
Napoleon also ordered Chalgrin to construct a wooden copy of the Arc de Triomphe in 1810, but the original was made of limestone.
During his nuptials to the Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria, Napoleon had a copy of this structure erected. In order to reach Paris from the west, he and his newlywed went through this ceremonial arch.
Napoleon had an exact replica of this building built for his wedding to the Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria. He passed through this ceremonial arch with his newlywed to get to Paris from the west.
4. World’s Second Largest Arch is the Arc De Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is not the world’s largest arch, despite how surprising that may seem. It once held that title, but after it was finished, it had to give it up to Pyongyang, North Korea’s Arch of Triumph, in 1922.
Although Kim Il-Sung, the then-president of North Korea, built that arch, the Paris Arc de Triomphe served as its primary inspiration.
5. Arc De Triomphe Was Modelled After The Roman Arch Of Titus
It’s not totally true that the Arc de Triomphe was designed from scratch. The Arch of Titus, a historic Roman building erected in Titus’ honour, served as inspiration for the construction.
It is well known that Napoleon I had great admiration for the Roman Empire, therefore it is not surprising that he found inspiration in the magnificent Arch of Titus.
Naturally though, Napoleon wanted his triumphal arch to be even greater and more enduring.
As a result, the Arc de Triomphe was constructed 50 feet (15.24 metres) taller and with much more elaborate decorations than the Arch of Titus.
6. Nearly a Big Elephant was constructed there instead.
Unexpectedly, France almost never acquired its famous monument, the Arc de Triomphe!
A large elephant with the working title L’éléphant Triumphal was intended to be built 45 years before the Arc de Triomphe was ordered.
The current location of the Arc de Triomphe would have been the site of the enormous, three-tiered elephant.
The French government changed its mind and abandoned the concept just as the building of the elephant was about to begin.
7. A “Star” Shaped Area Contains The Arc De Triomphe
The square with the Arc de Triomphe in it is called Place Charles de Gaulle. This plaza was once known as
Place de l’Étoile because it was formed into the shape of a star by the intersection of twelve straight roadways (place of the Star).
Because of this, the Arc de Triomphe is considered to be situated in the centre of a “star,” or étoile. It’s also the reason
why this structure’s full name is the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile, which is another little-known truth about the Arc de Triomphe.
8. French victories and battles are represented by each pillar
It should come as no surprise that the Arc de Triomphe’s pillars commemorate significant French triumphs given that it was constructed to honour the French Army.
The first song, La Marseillaise, honours the insurrection that took place on August 10, 1792, and is titled Departure of the
Volunteers of 1792/Le Départ de 1792. After that is The Triumph of 1810/Le Triomphe de 1810, which symbolises the Schönbrunn Treaty.
The names of the third and fourth pillars are Resistance/La Résistance de 1814 and Peace/La Paix de 1815, respectively.
While Peace honours the Treaty of Paris, which was signed in 1815, Resistance remembers French resistance during the War of the Sixth Coalition.
9. Sculptor groups showcase their work on the Pillars
Still talking about the pillars of the arch, did you know that they were not the creation of a single architect? In reality, several sculptor groups and three individuals collaborated in their creation.
François Rude created The Departure of the Volunteers of 1792/Le Départ de 1792, often known as La Marseillaise.
In the meantime, Jean-Pierre Cortot created the Triumph of 1810/Le Triomphe de 1810. Last but not least, Antoine Étex created both Resistance/La Résistance de 1814 and Peace/La Paix de 1815.
10. The Sun Sets Twice A Year In The Arch
A beautiful sight can be visible if you schedule your visit to the Arc de Triomphe just so.
The sun sets precisely in the middle of the arch twice a year. The exact timing may vary, but this magnificent phenomena normally happens between May and August.
Just walk to the Champs-Élysées’ eastern end to see it in all its splendour.
11.In the 1960s, pollution caused the Arc de Triomphe to become heavily blackened.n
Throughout its existence, this limestone monument wasn’t always so stunning. Due to coal smog and automobile pollution, the Arc de Triomphe became extremely unclean and blackened in the 1960s.
Luckily, it underwent a thorough cleaning and bleaching treatment from 1965 to 1966, and was then returned to its original splendour.
2. There have been two assassination attempts at The Arc.
The arch’s namesake, Charles De Gaulle, a former president of France, came very close to dying after liberating Paris in 1944.
A few Nazi snipers started firing at Hitler and the crowd as his parade procession circled the Arc de Triomphe.
Jacques Chirac then nearly averted an assault on his life at the Arc de Triomphe in 2002.
A gunshot was fired at him while he was speaking to the troops at the beginning of the Bastille Day parade. Fortunately, both of these individuals escaped the assaults.
13. One Once A Aircraft Flew Below The Arc
A fighter plane flew directly beneath the Arc de Triomphe on August 7, 1919, just a few weeks after the WWI victory parade. Charles Godefroy was the aircraft’s pilot.
Godefroy was one of several French World War I veterans who found it offensive that the military parade for Bastille Day required battle airmen to march on foot.
The greatest way he knew how was to fly a plane through the Arc de Triomphe, precisely like the Bastille Day procession, in honour of his fellow French military pilots.
Godefroy rose to fame in his hometown of La Fleche as a result of this stunt.
14. Unknown Soldier Interred Underneath the Arch
Do you realise that there is a grave beneath the Arc de Triomphe? Known as the Unknown Soldier, little is known about this man besides the fact that he fought in World War I.
This concept was proposed by the head of the Le Souvenir Français branch in Rennes at the time, and it was largely embraced by the media and lawmakers.
Since they were unsure who to pick, 8 nameless men were brought from separate battlefields, and Auguste Thin, who was watching over the 8 soldiers’ remains, was given the chance to pick one of them to be buried beneath the arch.
He picked the now-famous “Unknown soldier,” whose body was transported to the Arc on November 11, 1920, remaining there for a while before being buried beneath the Arc de Triomphe on January 28, 1921.
To honour those who bravely gave their lives in the First World War, this tomb was constructed.
15. It has over ten years of its eternal flame burning.
There is more to the Unknown Soldier’s tale. In front of his tomb, a flame that never goes out symbolises France’s never-ending gratitude for both him and the fallen French soldiers.
The story of the Unknown Soldier has more to it. A flame that never goes out stands in front of his tomb as a reminder of France’s unending gratitude for both him and the sacrifices made by the country’s dead troops.
The First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, who had previously visited the Arc de Triomphe, was inspired by its Eternal flame to create a similar memorial
to honour the killed former President John F. Kennedy at Virginia’s Arlington Cemetery. This is just one of the monument’s many intriguing facts.
16. Historically, military troops would gather at the Arc de Triomphe.
The Arc de Triomphe served as a military gathering place when construction was finished in 1836. French soldiers traditionally pass through the arch during the annual Bastille Day Military Parade and following victories.
Since the construction of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, all military parades have avoided passing beneath the real arch. During the German occupation of France, even Hitler followed this tradition.
17. There are 660 names engraved on the Arc de Triomphe.
Together with the complex decorations and the name of the soldier who is buried beneath the Arc,
there are 660 names of soldiers and generals who fought in the First French Empire, the French Revolution, and other significant conflicts.
If you look closely, you can see these names on each of the Arc’s four pillars.
Arc De Triomphe Fun Facts of Today
18. Paris’s Finest Views Can Be Seen From The Arc De Triomphe
It provides the greatest views of Paris and is removed from the historical events that have shaped the Arc de Triomphe into what it is today. Although there is room for debate on this, I and many other Parisians and visitors concur with this idea.
Either the 284 steps or the elevator to the Museum hall, followed by the last 40 steps, must be taken to access the observation deck. Or you can go straight to its observation deck by elevator.
From here, you can take in the breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower, the 12 streets that converge from the arc, Parisian rooftops, etc. Basically, you can take in the entire Parisian skyline.
You have two options for visiting: either buy this skip-the-line ticket and go without a guide or reserve a guided tour and go with someone who will walk you through the Arc de Triomphe’s history and facts.
19. Various Significant Events are Hosted at the Arc de Triomphe
Together with its historical significance, the Arc de Triomphe also serves as the site of numerous annual events.
The most well-known is the military parade commemorating Bastille Day, which takes place on July 14 and features a march by \
the French armed forces along the Champs-Élysées Avenue from Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located, to Place de la Concorde.
On top of all of this, lavish fireworks are launched at the Arc de Triomphe on New Year’s Eve.
20.Once wrapped, the Arc de Triomphe
Although most individuals were split on this occurrence (especially those who had travelled to Paris for the first time to see it),
At an art show that ran from September 18 to October 3, 2021, the Arc de Triomphe was covered in. Cloth made of recyclable polypropylene.
While modern art fans viewed it as a display of great artwork, critics disagreed on whether this renowned moment ought. To be wrapped to hide its historical designs.
But the finished piece wasn’t seen until 2021, Christo had the notion to wrap it in 1961 when he still. Resided nearby. He began the actual planning, though, in 2018.
It was originally scheduled for April 2020 but was postponed to September 2020 to avoid disturbing the kestrel falcons that. Live there in the spring.
Regrettably, Christo passed away while we were waiting in May 2020, but his contributions and thoughts weren’t going to be. Lost.
As they persisted, the pandemic that was ravaging the planet at the time created delays, and the project wasn’t completed. Until September 2021, when it was finally ready for display.
Arc de Triomphe Facts FAQ
When Was The Arc De Triomphe Built?
The Arc de Triomphe will turn 216 in 2022 after building on it began in 1806, a century ago.
What Does the Triumphal Arch Stand For?
The French Revolution and subsequent Napoleonic wars are just a few of the conflicts that are commemorated by the Arc. De Triomphe as victories for France over the years.
What’s the weight of the Arc de Triomphe?
Around 100,000 tonnes of weight are in the Arc de Triomphe.
How much time was spent on the Arc de Triomphe’s construction?
he Arc de Triomphe’s construction, as I already indicated, took 30 years.
The Arc de Triomphe’s height.
The Arc de Triomphe rises 50 metres in height altogether (164 ft).
Last Words on the Fascinating Arc de Triomphe Facts
Here they are: twenty fascinating facts about the Arc de Triomphe. It’s no surprise that the Arc de Triomphe is one of France’s
most popular tourist attractions with such a beautiful design. Of course, the amazing tales that have been told about it over the years just serve to enhance its appeal.
SO, did you discover anything new? I hope reading these interesting Arc de Triomphe facts has motivated you to go see the famous arch on your. Upcoming vacation to Paris!