The Arc de Triomphe is 2,2 km north-west of Place de la Concorde in the middle of place Charles de Gaulle (or Place de l’Etoile), the world’s largest traffic roundabout and the meeting point of twelve avenues and three districts (8th, 16th,
The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon to commemorate his imperial victories. It remained unfinished when he started to loose battles and actually lost the war. The monument was finally completed between 1832 and 1836.
French armies where not the only ones to march triumphantly through the Arc de Triomphe. There were also victorious Germans in 1871 and 1940 and the victorious Allies in 1919 and 1944.
In 1920, the body of an Unknown Soldier from WWI, taken from Verdun in Lorraine, was interred beneath the arch. His fate and the one of countless others like him are commemorated by a memorial flame rekindled every evening around 6.30 pm. France’s national remembrance service is annually held there on November 11th at 11 am.
The most famous of the four high-relief panels is to your right as you face the arch from the Avenue des Champs Elysées side. Entitled Départ des Volontaires and also known as La Marseillaise. It is the work of François Rude. Higher up, a frieze running around the whole monument depicts hundreds of figures.
Read more about the Champs Elysées Avenue.
You can see the twelve avenues from the viewing platform on top of the arch radiating toward every part of Paris. Many of them are named after Napoleonic victories and illustrious generals. You can also enjoy an amazing view of Paris.
View of Paris from the Arc de Triomphe
The Avenue de la Grande Armée heads north-westward, to the recent skyscraper district of La Défense, where the Grande Arche (a hollow cube 112 meters to a side) defines the western end of the Grande Axe (The Louvre – Arc de Triomphe axis).
How to get to the Arc de Triomphe, hours and price
The only “sane” way to get to the base of the arch is to use the underground passageway – unfortunately not connected to the nearby metro tunnels – that surfaces on the even-numbered side of the Avenue of Champs-Elysées. The similar northern passage surfaces on the Avenue de la Grande Armée.
Driving around the roundabout is Paris’ ultimate driving challenge, especially during rush hours.Address:
Place Charles de Gaulle 75008 Paris
Mo: Charles de Gaulle – Etoile (line 6, 1, 2, and RER A)
The Arc de Triomphe is open every day
Arc de Triomphe opening hours:
10am-11pm from Apr. to Sept.
10am-10.30pm from Oct. to Mar.
Art de Triomphe Prices:
€12 (or €9 reduced price)
Tips for your visit of the Arc de Triomphe
- The architecture by Jean-François Chalgrin
- The high-relief Départ des Volontaire (or La Marseillaise by François Rude)
- The view from the platform on the top of the arch
- The Tomb of the Unkown Soldier
- The axe historique: from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe, through la Concorde and Ave des Champs Elysées