Arc de Triumph

Iconic triumphal arch built to commemorate Napoleon's victories, with an observation deck.

Another iconic landmark of France, the Arc de Triomphe (Triumphant Arch), formally known as Place de l'Etoile ( Plaza of Stars ), is a grand, majestic arch situated at the center of Charles de Gaulle square.


It was built in tribute to the triumph of those who had been in battle and died for France in the Napoleonic and revolutionary wars. The Arc de Triomphe was built between 1806 and 1836, in representation of France's patriotic views whilst simultaneously encouraging peace. The arch stands 50 meters tall and 45 meters wide.


Beautifully inscribed on the surface of the inner and outer walls are the names of all the French generals in remembrance of their lives and service to the country. However, there is also a tribute to the Unknown soldier, found in a tomb below the Arc de Triomphe with the single body of an unidentified soldier, in remembrance of the lives of the soldiers who fought and died during world war one, without any recognition of any sort. Every year on November the 11th, Armistice day, the unknown soldier is remembered and celebrated. People around the world adorn themselves with a small poppy to symbolize the day. There is a flame, the eternal flame, that is lit every evening at 6:30 pm, that has a place in the tomb to commemorate those who were unknown but never forgotten.


The Arc de Triomphe displays designs very common to the 19th century and is, of course, one of the places to visit in Paris. The Arc de Triomphe lies on the end of the Champs-Élysees, which is very convenient if you plan on enjoying a session of shopping or a meal at one of the restaurants before visiting the triumphant arch. It is naturally open all year round, with the times differing according to the period of the year you visit. From the beginning of January until the end of March it is open from 10 am to 10:30 pm, from the beginning of April to the end of September ( peak season ) it is open from 10 am until 11 pm, then again from 10 am until 10:30 from the start of October until the end of December. The peak period of visitation is between 12 pm and 6 pm. Full price admission costs 12€, however, there are reduced prices for those who are tourism professionals, are 18-25 years of age from a non-E.U country or are foreign teacher – costing only 9€. Free admission is granted to those under 18 years with family, 18-25-year-olds that are EU citizens and those who are disabled. To view the Arc de Triomphe, you could stay on the ground floor and admire from below or you can climb the forty stairs to the top. It is very important to note though that to get to the Arc de Triomphe there is an underground tunnel, do not attempt to cross the dreaded traffic circle at all as it is very dangerous.

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