Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe Etoile, called Arc de Triomphe, is located in Paris, on Place Charles de Gaulle or formerly Place de l’Etoile, at the western end of Avenue des Champs-Elysées . In addition, it is located northwest of Place de la Concorde. Place de l’Etoile forms a roundabout giving access to twelve avenues: Champs-Elysees, Marceau, Lena, Kleber, Victor Hugo, Foch, Grand Army, Carnot, Mac-Mahon, Wagram, Hoche, Friedland. Mainly names of Napoleonic victories or generals of the Empire.

The Arc de Triomphe is known for its beautifully sculpted facade and for the tomb of an unknown soldier on which an eternal fire burns. François Rude’s La Marseillaise is the most famous of the sculptures. Inspired by ancient heroic tales, the work features a warrior angel armed with a sword calling on the French to defend their country (northeast pillar of the Champs-Élysées). The shield at the top of the monument lists Napoleon’s military victories. The Arc de Triomphe plays an important role in the celebration of national holidays in Paris. For example, the solemn commemoration of the national holiday, the storming of the Bastille (July 14) and the victory of the Second World War (May 8) takes place on the Arc de Triomphe. The sacrifice of the Unknown Soldier for the fatherland is commemorated each day by a moving ceremony.

From the high roof of the Arc de Triomphe, the viewer is confronted with a new vision of the layout of the “Place de l’Etoile” (Star Square), surrounded by twelve avenues designed by Haussmann, and the original elegance of the flint buildings. There are 284 steps leading to the top of the arch.


The Arc de Triomphe is one of the national monuments that have a strong historical connotation. Becoming a true symbol of patriotism, the monument welcomes on November 11, 1920 the body of an unknown soldier of the First World War. The flame coming out of the tomb commemorates the memory of the unknown soldier and is never extinguished: it is rekindled every evening at 6:30 p.m. by associations of veterans or victims of war. The Arc de Triomphe, whose construction was ordered in 1806 by Napoleon Bonaparte, is originally dedicated to the Imperial Army. The top of the monument is 50 meters high and 45 meters wide.

However, the construction was interrupted after the fall of Napoleon, which ended his career at the famous Battle of Waterloo. It was only King Louis Philippe who completed the Arc de Triomphe fifteen years after the death of the emperor, in 1836.


How to get to the Arc de Triomphe

To walk along the Champs Elysées you can use the Metro and get off at the station :
Metro : Charles de Gaulle-Étoile
Lines 1, 2, 6
RER A: Charles de Gaulle-Étoile


From 10 am to 10:30 pm and 11 pm in summer
Price 12 euros, free under 18 years old

The official website :