Famous Places in France
L'Arc de Triomphe

L'Arc de Triomphe is a very large monument in Paris.

Its purpose is to honour the soldiers who have fought and died for France. 
 
The monument was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1808 but its construction took a very long time and it was completed in 1836.
  

Arc de Triomphe
(Image from Wikimedia Commons, author Benh Lieu Song.)

L'Arc de Triomphe is an arch standing just over 50 metres high and 45 metres wide.  It stands in the centre of a huge roundabout where there is always a lot of traffic circling around.  This famous roundabout is known as the 'star' because it has twelve roads running out from the centre, making it look like a 12-pointed star.  For this reason, the monument is officially called L'Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile.  (In French, l'étoile = the star.)
  
Beneath the arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior from the First World War.  This special tomb is called La Tombe du Soldat Inconnu.  In 1923, an 'eternal flame' was lit here in memory of all French soldiers lost in war.  
 
eternal flame
La Flamme Éternelle

Return to the Famous Places in France page.