Curiosities about the Triumphal Arch in Paris


The Triumphal Arch is the trademark of Paris. Ever since 1836 it is the symbol of power and solidity of Paris. This massive stone structure was made for the soldiers of the Napoleon’s era. Nowadays it’s one of the best known statues in the entire world. Even though you may already know quite a lot about it, let us go deep in details and share some essential yet less-known facts.

Its building was authorized by Napoleon, someone who has never seen it in his life

In 1806 Napoleon agreed and allowed its building. It was only two years after auto-selecting himself as an Emperor of the French. In order to honor the ones who would go on a battle, he himself suggested its construction. As it was expected, the whole process of building it took a lot of time and effort. The Triumphal Arch was done by 1836, fifteen years after Napoleon’s death.


It was built after the Gate of Titus

When you analyze it deeply, Napoleon has been looking for inspiration in the antique Rome. The whole architecture of the arch was inspired by the Gate of Titus. This very gate was built in the first century. However, the Triumphal Arch is higher than the gate. On the other hand, its overall design is way more complicated than its original image.


Under the gate there is buried an unknown soldier

The Triumphal Arch gives respect to an unknown soldier from the World War I. Unlike the other parts of the sculpture, this very grave has no name engraved on it. To be more precise, its identity is completely unknown for the public. This very spot is known as The grave of the unknown soldier.


It is placed in the very center of Etoile or “the star”

Napoleon did not only imagined how would it look like, but where would it be placed. He decided the western end of Champ Elysee as its location. Its where several asphalted avenues meet, forming a shape of a star. After some time it was known as the Square of the star.


On the other end of Champ Elysee there is another arch

In 1989 they built another arch on the other end of the most popular Parisian avenue. A modern copy of the previously built Triumphal Arch is in question. Both its symbolism and design are a fair copy of it. It is about 109 meters high. Its shape is square and it’s like a reflection of the original Triumphal Arch. What differs the one structure from the other is their purpose. Instead of focusing on the French military victories, this arch symbolizes the diversity in France. It is actually a window of the world. It is an ideal model for a modern France.


If you still have doubts about whether to visit Paris or not, bare in mind that the Eiffel Tower and the Triumphal Arch are are only the most famous places and structures. However, this historical city hides much more stories than any other library in the world.