The Triumphal Arch

The Triumphal Arch (in French: Arc de Triomphe) is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The Triumphal Arch honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. The monument stands 50 metres (164 ft) in height, 45 m (148 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep.

Visiting the Triumphal Arch

From the terrasse at the top of The Triumphal Arch visitors have a panoramic view of Paris. The Triumphal Arch is centered on the roundabout of the Place Charles de Gaulle with twelve avenues radiating from its center. To the east the grande avenue Champs Élysées can be viewed all the way down to the far end of Place de la Concorde and the Louvre behind it. To the west the avenue de la Grande Armée forms the axis to the new Grande Arche de la Défense, a modern triumphal arch located at Paris' new business centre. Just below the rooftop - in the attic above the arch - there is a small museum which contains large models of the Arc and tells its story from the time of its construction. Below the arch - on the ground floor - you will find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, commemorating the dead who were never identified in World War I and II . The eternal flame on the tomb is re-lit evere evening at 6:30 pm. To access the monument it is recommended to use the two underpasses for pedestrians located at the Champs Élysées and the Avenue de la Grande Armée. The monument is also easily accessible by metro or RER-train as you will find the Charles de Gaulle—Étoile station with exits directly below the monument. Normal access to the attic and the terrasse at the very top, is by stairs. Occassionaly a lift is open from the ground floor to the attic.

Opening hours

The Triumphal Arch is open every day of the year
 • 1 April to 30 September: 10:00 am 11:00 pm
 • 1 October to 31 March: 10:00 to 10:30 pm
 • Last admission 45 minuttes before closing
 • Closed January 1, May 1, May 8 (morning), July 14 (morning), November 11 (morning) and December 25


Arc de Triomphe
Place Charles-de-Gaulle
75008 Paris

Getting there

By metro
Line no.1, 2 and 6, metro station "Charles de Gaulle—Étoile"

By train
RER A : Charles de Gaulle-Étoile

By citybus RATP
Line 22, 30, 31, 52, 73 and 92


After Napoleon I won the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, he decided to build a roman inspired triumphal arch. It was decided to place the monument at the site of the Bastille to the east of Paris. However the monument was not completed until the reign of King Louis-Philippe, between 1833 and 1836. Arc de Triomphe became the rallying point of French troops parading after successful military campaigns and for the annual Bastille Day Military Parade.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, was established on Armistice Day of November 11 in 1920 after world War I. In 1923 the internal flame was lit and has never gone out since. The stone on top of the tomb carries the inscription "Ici repose un soldat francais mort pour la patrie 1914-1918" ("Here lies a French soldier who died for the fatherland 1914–1918").