Arc de Triomphe: monument and symbol of Paris
The famous Arc de Triomphe is one of the most important monuments in Paris, which no tourist can miss. Taking a picture to take as a souvenir is the priority of every tourist but we advise you to pay attention to the cars, because the Arc de Triomphe is located in a knot of roads with a lot of traffic.
During your Parisian walks, it will be a place you will visit more often, as it is located in a very central area, i.e. in "Place de l'Etoile", at the beginning of the also famous Champs Elysées.
How to get there
To reach the monument, you can use the metro (line 1-2-6) and get off at the Charles de Gaulle stop. It is the same name of the stop in the case of the RER (A), or also, if you love moving and the outdoors, you can approach the monument by bicycle with the velib. In this area of the city, be prepared to spend at least one whole morning for your visit, as you will find many interesting monuments in the area, such as the Champs Elysees, the Champs Elysees garden, the Grand Palais and the Dapper Museum.
History of the monument
The monument was erected by the will of Napoleon Bonaparte, as a symbol of victory at the Battle of Austerlitz, which defeated the third anti-French coalition. It was built by the architects Louis Robert Goust and Jean Nicolas Huyot, designed by the architect Jean Chalgrin, as a neoclassical version of the triumphal arches of the Roman Empire. The first stone was laid on the day of the emperor's birthday, August 15, 1806, but its construction was completed many years after Bonaparte's death. In fact, work was stopped in 1815 after the fall of the emperor, and was resumed with new architects and new ideas planned to be completed in 1836. The iconic project changed a lot, as it was decided to integrate, besides the glory of the Grande Armée (Great Army in French), the glory of the revolutionary army. This can be seen by looking at the icons, which follow a very specific chronological order: on the right pillar (Paris side) the splendid image of the Marseillaise by Francois Rude, reflecting the departure of the volunteers in 1792; on the left pillar (Paris side), the triumph of 1810 by Pierre Cartot; on the left pillar (Défense side), La Resistance of 1814 by Antoine Etex; on the right side (Défense side), La Paz of 1815 by Antoine Etex. In 1920, The Arc de Triomphe, dedicated to the Unknown Military man and at its feet, is buried the body of a soldier who fell during the First World War and a permanent flame, in honour of all those who fell during the First World War.
In addition to the visit outside the monument, which can be booked in our Guides section, it is possible to visit the underground museum, dedicated to Napoleon and the panoramic square. Inside the museum, you can see objects belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte, relics from the First World War and historical documents referring to the arch itself. The museum is open to the public every day of the year, (excluding holidays): from April to September, from 10 am to 11 pm, and from October to March, from 10 am to 10.30 pm. The cost of the ticket for adults is 12 euros and the entrance is free for all under 25 years old (European citizens), disabled, and unemployed people who certify it. Remember that at the entrance, you will need to show your identity card to enjoy the free entrance. One of the most beautiful moments to visit the Arc de Triomphe, is in the evening at 18:30, when the Association of the Fighters (in French "La Flamme sous l' Arc de Triumphe") re-lights the flame. The association is made up of members of all nationalities and every evening they rekindle the flame of memory - a truly exciting moment that cannot be missed!