Arc de Triomphe in Paris
Paris is the most beautiful city in all of Europe. This title he received thanks to its historical and cultural attractions. The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre (the largest museum built by human hands), the palace of Louis XIV, the Pantheon (about which few people know). But the most famous and beautiful building in Paris and its business card is considered the Arc de Triomphe. This landmark reminds the world the victories of one of the greatest commanders of the world – Napoleon Bonaparte.
History of the Arc de Triomphe
The idea of building an arch appeared in 1806, after several high-profile victories of Napoleon (the battle of Ulm, Austerlitz, the occupation of Germany and the expansion of the territory of France). The arch symbolized the invincibility of the “golden” army of the emperor. The author of the project itself is Jean-Francois Chalgren. It was he who created the basis of the arch. But, after his death, the plan for the construction and decoration of the “monument” changed more than once. After Shalgren, many architects were involved in the erection of the arch, and everyone wanted to leave their “imprint” on the magnificent structure.
Construction began on August 15, 1807. The construction itself was interrupted several times due to martial law and political situations.
1814 was the end of the reign of Napoleon, but the construction of the arch was not completed. After the return of the Bourbon dynasty, the construction of the arch, which was supposed to glorify the first and last emperor of France, was discontinued. Construction resumed only eight years later. Now the arch was supposed to symbolize the victory of the French Republic over the Spanish kingdom. But in 1830 it was decided that the structure should symbolize the greatness and bravery of the French army of the Napoleonic period and the independent Republic. On July 29, 1836, construction was finally completed and a pompous discovery took place.
After the death of Napoleon, his ashes were brought from the place of his imprisonment (Saint Helena) and solemnly brought under the arch. The same honor was conferred on all famous French (Victor Hugo, Ferdinand Foch, Joseph Joffre, Philippe Leclerc and others).
Architecture of the Arc de Triomphe
The height of the Arc de Triomphe is 50 meters, width – 45 meters. The building itself has one central passage, and on the southern and northern sides there is one narrow opening. The Triumphal Arch is decorated with a five-meter plate, the bas-reliefs of which “tell” us about the great deeds and victories of the French army under the command of Napoleon. Also on the arch you can see a list of the thirty largest battles of the imperial army.
At the top of the building there is an observation deck, which is visited every day by tourists. Also in the arch there is a small museum in which you can learn the history of the construction of the arch.
In 1920, an unknown soldier was erected here. There is an inscription on the Tomb: “The soldier rests here, who gave his life for the Motherland, 1914-1919”. It is this memorial that reminds the French of all the horrors of war. In 1986, the arch was one hundred and fifty years old. After so many years, her condition deteriorated markedly: the walls were covered with cracks, large openings were visible between the joints of stone slabs. In order to prevent accidents, special nets were hung over the aisles. After a long analysis, the experts found out that atmospheric pollution and the destructive effects of precipitation are the cause of the deterioration of the arch. Measures were taken to save the “symbol of France”: the restoration of sculptures, the injection of concrete, the filling of the space between stone and marble slabs. The entire restoration cost the state budget several tens of millions of francs. Fully arch restored in the late 1990s.
The Triumphal Arch is a historic landmark that everyone should see. It is a national treasure not only of France, but of the whole world. For more than a century she has been telling us about the great events that created the history of the modern world order.
So, if you are going to go to Paris, then you just have to look at the Arc de Triomphe (the most magnificent construction of France in its history).