Arc de Triomphe & des Champs-Élyées

Charles de Gaulle-Étoile, 03/27/2019

The Arc de Triomphe stands at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle in honor of those who fought for France, in particular, those who fought during the Napoleonic Wars. Commissioned in 1806 after the victory at Austerlitz by Emperor Napoleon at the peak of his fortunes, the arch is engraved on the inside and at the top with the names of the generals and wars fought. There are also inscriptions in the ground underneath the vault.

Beneath the Arc is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. Interred on Armistice Day 1920, it has the first eternal flame lit in Western and Eastern Europe since the Vestal Virgins' fire was extinguished in the fourth century. It burns in memory of the dead who were never identified.

The Arc de Triomphe marks the end of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, a 1.2 mile span known for its theatres, cafés, and luxury shops. It is the site of the annual Bastille Day military parade and the finish line of the Tour de France cycle race.


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