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Arc de Triomphe facts | What no one tells you about the Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806. It is a mark of France’s great history and a tribute to the people who fought and died for the country in the French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic War. The astylar design structure is located right in the middle of the 12-lane Arc de Triomphe roundabout, which is one of the busiest in Paris. The iconic monument has a footfall of over 1.7 million on average every year, making it one of the most visited Paris attractions.

Interesting facts about the Arc de Triomphe

Arch De Triomphe

1. It was the biggest triumphal arch for 100 years

With a height of 50 m (164 ft), width of 45 m (148 ft), and depth of 22 m (72 ft), the Arc de Triomphe was the world's tallest triumphal arch for 100 years. However, the Monumento a la Revolución in Mexico City, which is 67 m (220 ft) high, won the position of the tallest arch in 1938.

Portrait of Napoleon

2. Napoleon never saw the completed arch

Commissioned by Emperor Napoleon in 1806, the construction of the Arc de Triomphe took almost 30 years. Napoleon passed away in 1821, almost 15 years before the Arc was fully constructed.

Medal showing Napoleon second marriage to Marie Louise

3. Napoleon constructed a wooden replica of the Arc

After the fall of Napoleon, he had a wooden replica of the Arc constructed. It was under this replica that he tied the knot with his wife Marie-Louise, in 1810.

Eternal Flame

4. The Eternal Flame has burned for over 100 years

Two years after the burial of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triumph, the Flame of Remembrance was met with positive opinions. First lit on 11 November 1923, the Eternal Flame has never been extinguished even once and has been burning for over 100 years.

Engraving on Arch De Triomphe

5. The monument is inscribed with battles and generals

The facades of the Arc de Triomphe have been engraved with the names of over 158 battles fought, as well as the names of over 660 generals who fought and lost their lives during the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic War.

Stamp depicting Jacques Chirac

6. Two assassination attempts took place at the arch

Two assassination attempts have taken place at the Arc de Triomphe. Both survived. Monsieur Charles De Gaulle, after whom the Paris airport is named, narrowly missed an assassination attempt on his life. In 2002, Jacques Chirac also narrowly beat an attempt to take his life.

Plane passing over Arch De Triomphe

7. A plane flew through the archway

A French aviator, Charles Godefroy, flew his fighter jet through the archway to honor the pilots who sacrificed their lives during World War I. This incredible feat was caught on tape and is widely available today.

Giant Elephant

8. The space was to be dedicated to a giant elephant

Before the construction of the Arc de Triomphe, French architect Charles Ribart proposed a 3-level elephant-shaped building to be built. However, the French government denied his request.




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Frequently asked questions about the Arc de Triomphe

What is the Arc de Triomphe known for?

The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most visited Paris attractions and the second-largest triumphal arch in the world. Commissioned by Napoleon, the Arc honors soldiers who lost their lives during the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic War. Today, it is the site of the Bastille Day parades and the end point for the Tour de France.

When was the Arc de Triomphe built?

Although it was commissioned in 1806, it took almost 30 years for the completion of the Arc de Triomphe. The Arc was finally inaugurated in 1836.

What is the architectural style of the Arc de Triomphe?

The Arc de Triomphe is built in Neoclassical style with elements of Roman architecture.

Is the Arc de Triomphe the largest triumphal arch in the world?

The Arc de Triumph was the tallest triumphal arch in the world for almost 100 years until the construction of Monumento a la Revolución in Mexico City in 1938.

Who built the Arc de Triomphe?

Commissioned by Emperor Napoleon in 1806, the Arc de Triomphe was designed by Jean Chalgrin.

How big is the Arc de Triomphe?

The Arc de Triomphe Paris is 162 feet tall and 150 feet wide, making it the second-tallest triumphal arch in the world.

What is the Arc de Triomphe made of?

The Arc de Triomphe is entirely made of limestone.

How can I reach the Arc de Triomphe rooftop?

There are 284 steps to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Although there is an elevator inside the arch, it is reserved for those with reduced mobility, pregnant women, and visitors with small children.

What is the inspiration for the Arc de Triomphe?

The design of the Arc de Triomphe Paris is inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome.