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ARC DE TRIOMPHE

Arc De
Triomphe
History
• The Arc is located on the right bank of the Seine at the centre of a dodecagonal configuration of
twelve radiating avenues. It was commissioned in 1806 after the victory at Austerlitzby Emperor
Napoleon at the peak of his fortunes. Laying the foundations alone took two years and, in 1810,
when Napoleon entered Paris from the west with his bride ArchduchessMarie-Louise of Austria,
he had a wooden mock-up of the completed arch constructed. The architect, Jean Chalgrin, died
in 1811 and the work was taken over by Jean-Nicolas Huyot. During the Bourbon Restoration,
construction was halted and it would not be completed until the reign of King Louis-Philippe,
between 1833 and 1836, by the architects Goust, then Huyot, under the direction of Héricart de
Thury. Prior to burial in the Panthéon, the body of Victor Hugo was exposed under the Arc during
the night of 22 May 1885.
• the Arc de Triomphe became the rallying point of French troops parading after successful military
campaigns and for the annual Bastille Day Military Parade. Famous victory marches around or
under the Arc have included the Germans in 1871, the French in 1919, the Germans in 1940, and
the French and Allies in 1944 and 1945. A United States postage stamp of 1945 shows the Arc de
Triomphe in the background as victorious American troops march down the ARCH. After the
interment of the Unknown Soldier, however, all military parades (including the aforementioned
post-1919) have avoided marching through the actual arch. The route taken is up to the arch and
then around its side, out of respect for the tomb and its symbolism. Both Hitler in 1940 and de
Gaulle in 1944 observed this custom.
Architect Jean Chalgrin
• His neoclassic orientation was established from his early studies with the
prophet of neoclassicism Giovanni Niccolò Servandoni and with the radical
classicist Étienne-Louis Boullée in Paris and through his Prix de Rome
sojourn (November 1759 – May 1763) as a pensionnaire of the French
Academy in Rome. His time in Rome coincided with a fervent new interest
in Classicism among the young French pensionnaires, under the influences
of Piranesi and the publications of Winckelmann.
• Returning to Paris, he was quickly given an appointment as an inspector of
public works for the city of Paris, under the architect Pierre-Louis Moreau,
whose own time at the French Academy in Rome had predisposed him to
the new style.
• Chalgrin was able to design the neoclassical gateway to the cour
d'honneur.
• In 1764 he presented neoclassical plans for the Church of St. Philippe-du-
Roule ; its colossal Ionic order of columns, which separated the barrel-
vaulted nave from the lower, barrel-vaulted aisles, was carried around the
apse without a break. He revived a basilica plan that had not been
characteristic of French ecclesiastical architecture since the sixteenth
century.
• In 1777 Chalgrin partly remodelled the interior of Church of
Saint-Sulpice, which had been given a thoroughly
neoclassical façade by Chalgrin's former master Servandoni
over forty years before. He also designed the case for the
great organ.
• After the Revolution Chalgrin extended the Collège de France
and made alterations in the Palais du Luxembourg to suit it to
its new use as the seat of the Directoire.
• The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon to
commemorate the victorious armies of the Empire. The
project was under way when Chalgrin died, and it was
completed by Jean-Nicolas Huyot.
• Chalgrin married Émilie, a daughter of the painter Joseph
Vernet. They had one son.
Avenues radiating from the arc de triomphe
Design
The monument
stands 50 metres (164
ft.) in height, 45 m
(148 ft) wide and 22
m (72 ft) deep. The
large vault is 29.19 m
(95.8 ft) high and
14.62 m (48.0 ft)
wide. The small vault
is 18.68 m (61.3 ft)
high and 8.44 m (27.7
ft) wide.
Its design was
inspired by the
Roman Arch of Titus.
• The astylar design is by Jean Chalgrin
(1739–1811), in the Neoclassical version of
ancient Roman architecture . Major
academic sculptors of France are
represented in the sculpture of the Arc de
Triomphe
• In the attic above the richly sculptured
frieze of soldiers are 30 shields engraved
with the names of major French victories in
the French Revolution and Napoleonic
wars. The inside walls of the monument list
the names of 660 people, among which are
558 French generals of the First French
Empire; The names of those generals killed
in battle are underlined.
Tomb of unknown soldier
• is one of the most famous
monuments in Paris. It stands
in the centre of the Place
Charles de Gaulle. The Arc de
Triomphe honours those who
fought and died for France in
the French Revolutionary and
the Napoleonic Wars, with the
names of all French victories
and generals inscribed on its
inner and outer surfaces.
Beneath its vault lies the Tomb
of the Unknown Soldier from
World War I.
In section,
• Staircase and recently installed lift
on either sides will take visitors
almost to the top-to the attic.
• Attic; a small gallery which
contains large models of the arc
and tells its story from the time of
its construction.
• Another 46 steps remain to climb
in order to reach the top, the
terrasse,from where one can enjoy
the view of Paris.
Museum
View from the terrace
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