About the Arc de TriompheThe Arc de Triomphe of Paris is a huge stone building that stands in the center of Charles de Gaulle Square, at the end of the famous Champs Elysees. The gate can be seen from great distances - it's about 50 meters high, 45 meters wide and 22 meters long. The structure is so large that in 1919, during the World War I victory parade, an airplane flew through the arch successfully!
General Napoleon ordered the erection of the Arc de Triomphe in 1806 to glorify the names of those who fought for France during the French Revolution and during the wars of his time. However, the construction of the Arc de Triomphe ended only thirty years later, in 1836, years after Napoleon's death.
Many pictures and many figures of Parisian history were associated with this gate. The gate became a permanent point from which the victorious military parades emerge after successes, and the annual military parade on Bastille Day. Even after the victory of the French in World War I, a parade was held in the Champs-Elysées to celebrate the victory over the Germans.
Architecture of the Arc de TriompheThe structure of the gate was influenced by the Arch of Titus, built by the Romans, but the decorations characterize the neo-classical style of the 19th century. The gate is full of sculptures and decorations depicting historical moments related to victories. At the base of each foot at the gate is a group of central sculptures, each of which was built by another famous French sculptor. On the walls of the building are the names of the generals who were killed during those wars, alongside the names of 128 battles. Below the Arc de Triomphe is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a site that was added to the compound in 1921 and at 6:30 pm every night, the eternal flame is lit in their memory.
At the base of the Arc de Triomphe is a small museum, which reviews the history of the gate's construction, as well as the heroism of Napoleon.
From the balcony of the building, located at a height of fifty meters, you can see the 12 avenues that split off from it. This is an excellent vantage point for Paris. Although the climb involves climbing about two hundred steps, the view from the edge is a worthy reward.
Historical RouteThe Arc de Triomphe is part of the "historical route." What is the historic route, you ask?
The historic route is a route of sculptures, buildings and roads that pass through central Paris towards the west. The route is also called "the road of victory" and "the royal road". The starting point of the route is the statue "Louis XIV on Horseback" located at Napoleon Square in the Louvre. The route begins in the first district and ends in the eighth district of the city.
The construction of the route began alongside construction for the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in the 17th century, designed by the gardener of Louis XIV, André Le Nôtre. The construction approach was similar to the planning of French gardens built in the palace of Versailles. After changes over the years, it was only in the 20th century that the route became as familiar as it is today. From there the historic route of Paris continues to the small Arc de Triomphe, the Place de la Concorde, the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, the Grand Arc de Triomphe and the Paris 2000 area, La Défense.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier"Tomb of the Unknown Soldier" is a nickname for many monuments around the world that were built to commemorate soldiers who fell in wars without being able to identify their bodies. These graves are the focus of state memorial ceremonies.
Even under the Arc de Triomphe there is such a grave. The bones of soldier buried during World War I were transferred to the site on the day of the armistice (the day the cease-fire came into effect in World War I) in 1920. In memory of these anonymous soldiers, the eternal flame is lit for an indefinite period. The eternal flame was lit for the first time in an official ceremony in 1920, and each year a ceremony is held on November 11, the day the war ended.
The coffin was placed in the chapel at the top of the arch on November 10, 1920, and was buried six months later. On the grave is written in French: "Here is the burial of French soldiers who fell for their homeland 1914-1918." The truth is that the French government intended to bury the anonymous soldiers in the Pantheon, but following public protests it was decided to bury them under the Arc de Triomphe. In 1961, US President John F. Kennedy and his wife placed a wreath on the grave, together with the French President Charles de Gaulle. Following Kennedy's murder in 1963, his wife Jacquelyn Kennedy asked that her husband be buried with an eternal flame, similar to the one she had seen in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris, and so her wish was granted.
FrieseAbove the arch of the Arc de Triomphe is a friese, above which are 30 knights' symbols and names of their victories in the French wars.
A friese is an architectural element originating in ancient Greek architecture. The friese is the thickest layer of the entablature, the upper part of the structure above the columns. It is located above the architrave and below the carnation and the gamelon. The friese is one of the horizontal layers that appear on the typical facade of classical and neo-classical structures. In some cases these frieses will be decorated with stone decorations intended to convey a message, a historical or religious story.
The dimensions of the friese in classical construction vary but are proportional to the other components.