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Arc de Triomphe Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

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Arc de Triomphe Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended : Michelin's recommendations

Bibendum
It was in 1806 that Napoleon I commanded Jean-François Chalgrin (1739-1811) to build this triumphal arch in tribute to the armies of France. Four years later, the construction was hardly above ground level, although Chalgrin had to set up a mock arch of wood and canvas for the entry into the capital in 1810 of the new Empress, Marie-Louise. The death of the architect, in 1811, the military defeats, and then the restoration led to the project being abandoned, and it was not until 1832 under Louis-Philippe that work restarted, and was finally completed in 1836. Inspired by antiquity, Chalgrin's arch is of colossal dimensions: 50 m high by 45 m long... Facing the Champs-Élysées, the arch is decorated with a superb Rude composition, entitled Le Départ des volontaires de 1792 but commonly known as La Marseillaise. This allegory of the «patrie», treated in a vibrant romantic style escapes from the grip of academism (a danger not avoided by the three groups executed by Rude's competitors, Cortot and Etex). The Unknown Soldier has since 1920 rested beneath the monument in front of the Flame of Memory revived each day at 6:30 p. m. From this location, you can see, on the interior surface of the arch, the names of battles and of 558 generals who participated in them. There is a splendid view from the platform along the twelve avenues that lead off from the square.

Useful Information

Opening hours :

  • Apr-Sep: 10am-11pm; rest of year: 10am-10.30pm - closed 1 Jan, 1 May, 8 May (morning) 14 Jul (morning), 11 Nov (morning), 25 Dec

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