Short description

The construction of the Arc de Triomphe monument was decided by Emperor Napoleon 1st after the battle of Austerlitz (today Slavkov u Brna, in the Czech Republic) on Monday, December 2, 1805. He declared to the present French soldiers: "You will return to your homes only under arches of triumph". The Emperor was referring to the triumphal arches erected under the Roman Empire.
Construction began in 1806 (Imperial Decree dated 18 February 1806) and was completed 30 years later in 1836 under King Louis-Philippe, long after the Emperor's death in 1821.

  • Place Charles de Gaulle | Place de l'Étoile, Place Charles de Gaulle, Paris, 75116, France

Open hours

Arc de Triomphe
Place Charles de Gaulle
75008 Paris


  • From April 1st to September 30th : 10 am to 11 pm
  • From October 1st to March 31st : 10 am to 10:30 pm
  • Attention: last access 45mn before closing time

Closures: The Arc de Triomphe is closed on January 1, May 1, May 8 (morning), July 14 (morning), November 11 (morning) and December 25.

Exceptional openings
  • Easter
  • Easter Monday
  • Ascension
  • May 8th
  • Pentecost
  • Pentecost Monday
  • July 14th
  • August 15th
  • November 1st
  • November 11th

Arc de Triomphe
Place Charles de Gaulle
75008 Paris

  • Metro: lines 1, 2, 6 - Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile Station
  • RER: line A, station Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile
  • Bus: lines 22, 30, 31, 52, 73, 92
  • Balabus: Sightseeing tours with the RATP network. The Balabus serves the capital's main sites between Gare de Lyon and La Défense. Operates between April and September, on Sunday afternoons and public holidays.
    For : Those who want to reach the tourist sites of Paris at a lower cost, while admiring the streets of the capital parade during the trip.
    Fares : The price of a ticket (1,70€)

Arc de Triomphe
Place Charles de Gaulle
75008 Paris

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ', ") 48° 52′ 26″ N 2° 17′ 42″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.87372 2.29506

Arc of Triumph (Arc de Triomphe)

Rates and conditions

  • Self-guided tour : Full price, 13€.
  • Group visit: Reservation for groups only - free visit:
  • Free
    • Free admission on the first Sunday of the month, from November 1 to March 31.
    • Free admission for people under 26 years of age who are nationals of the European Union or legal residents of the European Union, and for teachers of 1st and 2nd grade.
    • Free for disabled visitors and their companions, job seekers and recipients of minimum social benefits.
    • Free for children under 18 years old.

Methods of payment accepted

  • CB/Visa
  • Eurocard/Mastercard

Conditions spéciales en période de Covid 19 (Revoir après fin du Covid 19)
Tarifs et modalités

  • Visite libre : Plein tarif, 13€.
  • Visite de groupe : Réservation pour les groupes uniquement – visite libre :
  • Gratuit
    • Entrée libre le 1er dimanche du mois, du 1er novembre au 31 mars.
    • Gratuit pour les -26 ans ressortissants de l'Union européenne ou résidents réguliers sur le territoire de l’Union européenne, les enseignants du 1er et 2nd degré.
    • Gratuit pour les visiteurs en situation de handicap et leur accompagnateur, demandeurs d’emploi et bénéficiaires des minima sociaux.
    • Gratuit jeunes et enfants -18 ans.

Modes de paiement acceptés

  • CB/Visa
  • Eurocard/Mastercard


Full description

Arc-de-Triomphe, Napoleon 1er and the battle of Austerlitz. Origin

The construction of the Arc-de-Triomphe monument was decided by Emperor Napoleon 1st after the battle of Austerlitz (today Slavkov u Brna, in the Czech Republic) on Monday, December 2, 1805. He declared to the present French soldiers: "You will return to your homes only under arches of triumph". The Emperor was referring to the triumphal arches erected under the Roman Empire.

Construction of the Arc-de-Triomphe. A quick start, a long delay

Construction began in 1806 (imperial decree dated February 18, 1806) and ended in 1836 under King Louis-Philippe.

The first stone in the form of a shield bearing an inscription was laid on August 15, 1806, (for the Emperor's birthday) and covered with a bronze plaque to protect it.

In 1810, the four piers rise about one meter above the ground. That same year, on the occasion of her marriage to Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria and her entry into Paris, a full-scale model was built using frame, stucco, and painted canvases that remained in place long enough and under which the Princess passed.

During the first Napoleonic defeats (Russian campaign in 1812), and the events of 1814, the Arc de Triomphe was raised up to the vaults, but the construction was interrupted and then abandoned under the Restoration.

However, in 1823, Louis XVIII resumed construction. The Arch now commemorates the victorious Spanish expedition. In 1830, King Louis-Philippe, Charles X's successor, took up Napoleon's initial thought but, in a spirit of reconciliation, associated the armies that had fought between 1792-1815.

Chosen themes and inauguration of the monument

It is Louis-Philippe and Adolphe Thiers (statesman) who decide on the choice of themes and sculptors: The Departure of the Volunteers, commonly known as La Marseillaise, by François Rude and The Triumph of Napoleon by Jean-Pierre Cortot. More spectacular is the frieze located at the top of the Arch and which is divided into two parts: The Departure of the Armies and The Return of the Armies with a long central stage to the glory of the Nation. The construction of these sculptures was carried out between 1832 and 1836 by the architect Guillaume-Abel Blouet.

The Arc-de-Triomphe de l'Etoile ("of the star") as it was known then, was inaugurated on July 29, 1836. It has been classified as a Historic Monument since 1896.

The dimensions of the Arc-de-Triomphe

It is managed by the Centre for National Monuments. It is 49.54 m high, 44.82 m wide, and 22.21 m deep.
The height of the great vault is 29.19 m high and 14.62 m wide.
The small vault is 18.68 m high and 8.44 m wide.
The monument weighs 50,000 T, 100,000 T with the foundations sinking to 8.37 m deep. The total cost of the construction was 9,651,116 F.

Location of the Arc-de-Triomphe and Place Charles-de-Gaulle

The Arc de Triomphe stands in the center of Place Charles-de-Gaulle (formerly Place de l'Étoile) in the 8th, 16th, and 17th arrondissements of Paris. It is located on the axis and at the western end of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 2.2 kilometers from the Place de la Concorde.

The Place de l'Étoile forms an enormous traffic circle with twelve avenues that were opened in the 19ᵉ century at the instigation of Baron Haussmann. These avenues "radiate" in a star shape around the square, including Avenue Kléber, Avenue de la Grande-Armée, Avenue de Wagram and, the best known, Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

The Unknown Soldier and the monument. The war of 1914-18

At the end of the First World War, the idea was born to honor an unknown soldier killed in combat, in the name of all armies. On January 28, 1921, the body of an unidentified soldier was buried, chosen at random from among 8 bodies. It is written on his grave: "Ici repose un soldat français mort pour la patrie" (Here lies a French soldier who died for his country).
Two years later, André Maginot, then Minister of War, supported the project to install a "flame of remembrance" which was first lit on November 11, 1923 (Reminder date of the armistice day of November 11, 1918). It commemorates the memory of soldiers who died in combat and never goes out: it is rekindled every evening at 6:30 p.m. by associations of veterans or war victims.

What can be seen under, in, and on the Arc-de-Triomphe

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located at the level of the Place Charles-de-Gaulle. You discover this symbolic high place a few meters away when you are under the Arc, with the eternal flame and the sheaves of flowers.

At this same level, you will also find all the references to the great battles of Napoleon 1st and the high and low reliefs that symbolize the French Republic.

Inside the pillars of the Arc de Triomphe, there is a new permanent scenography inaugurated in February 2008. It is entitled "Between wars and peace". It proposes a reading of the history of the monument taking into account the evolution of its symbolism up to the present period, a period when the values of dialogue and encounter take precedence over armed confrontation. A multimedia presentation tells the history of the monument in a contemporary, interactive, and playful way, in seven stations and on three levels. It allows visitors to discover what could have been the projects not completed, what has disappeared, and what cannot be easily seen (the sculpted decor).

When you are on the roof terrace at 50 m above the ground, the view is magnificent. On the one hand, the Arc de Triomphe is in the center of Paris and its star-shaped avenues, and on the other hand, because the monument is actually on a hill which allows widening of the view just as grandiose as the one of the Eiffel Tower and on the whole of Paris.

How to visit the Arc-de-Triomphe monument

The "museum" of the triumphal arch is in the pillars themselves, on the way to the summit. The entrance in the Arc de Triomphe is in the center of the Arch, near the flame of remembrance of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

To access the central part of the Place Charles de Gaulle, under the Arc, it is MANDATORY to go through 2 tunnels under the Place Charles de Gaulle called Passage of Remembrance. One entrance is located at the end of the Champs Elysées, the other diametrically opposite, on the Avenue de la Grande Armée. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CROSS THE PLACE at street level, EVEN AT NIGHT, WHEN TRAFFIC IS LIGHT.

Static Code
Open hours today: 10:00 am - 11:00 pm
  • Monday

    10:00 am - 11:00 pm

  • Tuesday

    10:00 am - 11:00 pm

  • Wednesday

    10:00 am - 11:00 pm

  • Thursday

    10:00 am - 11:00 pm

  • Friday

    10:00 am - 11:00 pm

  • Saturday

    10:00 am - 11:00 pm

  • Sunday

    10:00 am - 11:00 pm

  • July 24, 2024 8:36 am local time

More locations
  • No comments yet.
  • Add a review