Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe is a monument in Paris that stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly the Place de l'Étoile, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The arch honours those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars, and today also includes the tomb of the unknown soldier.

The Arc is the linchpin of the historic axis (L'Axe historique) — a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on a route which goes from the courtyard of the Louvre Palace to the outskirts of Paris. The monument was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806, and its iconographic program pitted heroically nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail and set the tone for public monuments, with triumphant nationalistic messages, until World War I.

The monument stands over 51 meters (165 ft) in height and is 45 meters wide. It is the second largest triumphal arch in existence. Its design was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus; The Arc de Triomphe is so colossal that three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919, marking the end of hostilities in World War I, Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane through it, and was caught in a newsreel.

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