Central to Paris’s Place de l’Etoile roundabout lays the majestic Arc de Triomphe. Initially designed as a monument to Napoleon’s victorious armies, building on the monumental arch began in 1806. Inspired by the great arches found throughout antiquity, the Arc de Triomphe combines both a commemorative space with a symbolic one, and it has always played a major role in the French national republican consciousness.
In 1921 the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was incorporated into the monument, and today the tomb’s flame is rekindled every evening at 6.30 p.m. as a symbol of the enduring nature of the commemoration and respect shown to those who have fallen in the name of France.
As a monument the Arc de Triomphe offers visitors impressive views across Paris from its panoramic terrace, and an exhibition which details the arch’s history and symbolic importance both in France and abroad.
Take a tour
Self-guided tours with the help of a guidebook are available in several languages: French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese and Russian.
Lecture tours are also available in both French and English.
The Permanent ‘Great Moments of French History’ exhibition uses interactive screens to engage with visitors and bring stories to life. It traces the story of the Arc de Triomphe and indeed other examples of triumphal arches throughout the World. It highlights the architectural features of the arch, and explains the friezes and sculptures that adorn the columns.
Out-of-hours visits can be organised for groups of up to 100 people (reservation required).
Metro: Charles de Gaulle-Étoile, lines 1-2-6
RER A: Charles de Gaulle-Étoile
Arc de triomphe
Place Charles de Gaulle 75008 Paris
The visit of the monument for groups or individuals does not require any reservation.
Reservations for lecture tour:
Tel.:+33 (0)1 44 54 19 30
Fax:+33 (0)1 44 54 19 31