One of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Places Charles de Gaulle (originally named Place de l'Étoile), at the western end of the Champs-Elusees . There is a smaller arch, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which stands west of the Louvre. The Arc de Triomphe (in English: "Triumphal Arch") 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.
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 Austerlitz by 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 Archduchess Marie- 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 Huvot. 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 Hericart de Thury . On 15 December 1840, brought back to France from Saint Helena, Napoleon's remains passed under it on their way to the Emperor's final resting place at the Invalides. Prior to burial in the Pantheon , the body of Victor Hugo was exposed under the Arc during the night of 22 May 1885.
The sword carried by the Republic in the Marseillaise relief broke off on the day, it is said, that the Battle of Verdun began in 1916. The relief was immediately hidden by tarpauilins to conceal the accident and avoid any undesired ominous interpretations ]. On 7 August 1919, Charles Godefroy successfully flew his biplane under the Arc. Jean Navarre was the pilot who was tasked to make the flight, but he died on 10 July 1919 when he crashed near Villacoublay while training for the flight.