The Arc de Triomphe in Paris: things you didn’t know about it

Paris the city of love and, why not say it, also of monuments. It is one of the capitals with the most architectural attractions, all with a long history. In this case, we want to tell you about some of the curiosities that the Arc de Triomphe hides in Paris. Stay with us!

The Arc de Triomphe in Paris and its secrets

It was Napoleon Bonaparte himself who ordered the construction of this wonder. And for a long time it has been one of the most characteristic points of the French capital. These are the secrets it keeps and that you possibly did not know:

Napoleon did not see it finished

Arch of Triumph

Yes, it seems incredible, but it is true. The great soldier, strategist and emperor did not get to see one of his greatest completed works. The Arc de Triomphe in Paris was completed in 1836, 15 years after his death.. Napoleon died in 1821, far from the French capital, on the island of Saint Helena.


“There is no distance that cannot be covered and no goal that cannot be reached.”

-Napoleon Bonaparte-

there was a stop

The reason it was concluded so late was because the construction was stopped for twelve years because of the abdication of Napoleon. Although one of his dreams, passing under the arch, did come true. It happened in 1940, when his remains were moved to the Palacio de los Invalides, where they have rested ever since.

Their names

Inscriptions on the Arc de Triomphe

From a distance you may not appreciate them, but if you get closer, you will realize that there are hundreds of names inscribed on its walls.

Many who come to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris wonder what they mean. As well, are the 128 battles in which the French troops triumphed under Napoleon. Do you now understand better the name of this monument?

Its place was going to be occupied by another construction

Half a century before the Arc de Triomphe began to rise there was a project to build something very different in this same place: a three-story building in the shape of an elephant.

The “Triumphant Elephant” was a fabulous project by Charles Ribart. Why was it never done? Because the government at that time considered that it involved disproportionate spending. Right now we couldn’t imagine something like that at one of the ends of the Champs-Elysées?

The Arc de Triomphe and the plane

No, we are not going to tell you a story, but tell you that after the First World War, Charles Godefroy passed under the arch with his war plane. It happened in 1919 and it was a symbolic and vindictive act to honor the French pilots.

French troops did not always march under him

Despite their name, the French did not always win every battle. On two occasions victorious troops other than the French passed under him. One was during the Franco-Prussian War and the other after the German occupation in World War II.

an event venue

Today, and thanks to its history and meaning, It is the scene of important events, such as the parade on July 14, France’s National Day. Not to mention the Tour de France, which ends every year at the arch.

The tribute to the soldiers

Tomb of the unknown soldier

Beneath the monument is the tomb of the unknown soldier, which is nothing more than a representation of the millions of soldiers who lost their lives during the first great war. It was installed in 1920 and it contains the remains of an unidentified soldier who died in the Battle of Verdun.

three in a row

No, we are not going to offer you to play three in a row, but if we were to see Paris from above we would realize that In the city there are two more arches that are perfectly aligned with the Triumphal Arch.. These are the Carrousel, in the Louvre, and the one in la Défense.

The latter, that of La Défense, represents the most modern Paris and avant-garde. Meanwhile, the Carrousel is a symbol of the past of the capital of France. And the Arc de Triomphe serves as a link between the two. Curious, right?

These are curiosities about the Arc de Triomphe in Paris that we wanted to share with you. If you don’t know him yet, do not forget to visit the city of love and admire this monument that now you can enjoy more thoroughly.

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