It is one of the most characteristic landmarks of Paris. It was created to commemorate the fighters and fallen of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The Arc de Triomphe construction began in 1806 and took 30 years. It was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte himself but was not completed until Louis Philippe I's reign.
The structure was designed by the architect Jean Chalgrin and the sculptures were made by François Rude.
After Chalgrin's death in 1811, construction was supervised by Jean-Nicolas Huyot.
The monument is made of white limestone.
The triumphal arch is 51 m high and 44.9 m wide.
The frieze surrounding the triumphal arch shows a scene of the French army marching out and returning in glory.
To get to the Arc de Triomphe's viewing platform, you have to climb 284 steps.
On the facade of the arch are engraved 660 names of the Napoleonic army officers.
On the arch walls are engraved the names of 128 towns where battles of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars took place.
Under the arch is the Unknown Soldier's tomb, where the symbolic flame of remembrance is lit every evening.
On August 7, 1919, the French pilot Charles Godefroy flew his biplane under the Arc de Triomphe.
Ceremonies at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier take place every year in November.
In 1961, President John Kennedy honored the fallen at the tomb of Unknown Soldier.
It took 130 years from the time of construction to the first maintenance work to clean the facade.
In the early 1960s, the monument began to darken due to carbon deposits visibly, so it underwent a whitewashing operation in 1965-1966.
In 1995, the Armed Islamic Group planted and detonated an explosive charge under the arch, injuring 17 people.
The finish line of the Tour-de-France is located under the Arc de Triomphe.