These Arc de Triomphe Around the World… And in Montpellier?
Have you ever visited the Arc de Triomphe in Paris? Did you know that this historical monument has several look-alikes all around the world? There are even other Arc de Triomphe in cities like Marseille and Montpellier, in France! In this article, we’ll break down all the interesting facts there are to know about the world’s most famous arch. Keep reading to find out more.
The Most Famous Arc de Triomphe of All
Arc de Triomphe in Paris
You’ve seen it a thousand times: The Arc de Triomphe in the middle of a busy roundabout at the end of the Champs-Elysées in Paris. It’s probably the second-most identifiable Parisian landmark, after the Eiffel Tower. But what do you actually know about it? We’re here to give you a quick wrap up of its history and what it is all about. Plus, we’ll share with you some of its doppelgangers around the world. Let’s get into it!
The Arc de Triomphe is located at the Place de l’Etoile at the intersection of the 16th, 17th, and 8th arrondissements in Paris. It was built by architect Jean-François Chalgrin at the request of King Louis-Philippe in 1836 (after Napoleon initially requested it in 1806). Chalgrin was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus but wanted to exceed previous creations with its impressive size. As a result, the Arc de Triomphe’s dimensions are 50 meters tall, 45 meters long, and 22 meters wide (164 feet tall, 147 feet long, and 72 feet wide).
Visit the Arc de Triomphe in Paris
There is an elevator inside the Arc which will take you almost to the top, where you’ll find a museum all about the Arc. You can continue climbing 40 steps to the top, where you will come out on top of the Arc and have a magnificent view of Paris. The Arc is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The entrance fee is 12€ for adults over the age of 18. Admission is free for all European citizens and permanent residents aged 18 to 25 years old.
Symbolically, the Arc de Triomphe honors the soldiers who fought and died in both the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The names of all French victories and generals are engraved on the sides of the Arc. At ground level underneath the Arc, you’ll find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a highly revered gravesite of an unknown soldier who died fighting in World War I. His name and origin are unknown. The emblazoned vault where he is honored signifies the sacrifice many unknown French citizens gave fighting for the country.
Every night at 6:30 p.m. veteran officials rekindle the Eternal Flame, a torch which lays atop the tomb. The torch never goes out and it is symbolic of French patriotism.
A Worldwide Arc de Triomphe Look Alike Contest
Clearly, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris has a splendid history, but did you know it has many different reincarnations throughout the world? Many of them have a backstory equally as interesting as the original.
How Many Arc de Triomphe Are There in the World?
There are at least 15 famous arches in the world, each of them resembling more or less the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Let’s take a look at a few of the most well-known arches still standing today.
Arch of Triumph of Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea
This arch is modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, but it is 10 meters (33 feet) taller. Inside this arch, you’ll find dozens of rooms and elevators. It is made from 25,500 blocks of white granite.
Simpang Lima Gumul Monument in Kediri, Indonesia
This arch was built in 2003 and it also resembles the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It’s not as big as its inspiration, though, coming in at only 25 meters (82 feet) tall. There are 6 floors inside and the outside is covered in a depiction of the history of Kediri.
Patuxai Gate of Triumph in Vientiane, Laos
Ironically, this arch was built in 1957 as a war monument dedicated to those who fought and died for Laotian independence from France. Although its shape resembles the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, it is typically Laotian by design, including several mythical creatures engraved on the sides.
The India Gate in New Delhi, India
This arch is a memorial to more than 70,000 soldiers in the British Indian Army who died during World War I, similarly to the symbolic meaning of the Parisian Arc de Triomphe. The names of 13,300 soldiers are engraved on the arch.
Arcul de Triumf in Bucharest, Romania
The original arch in Bucharest was built rapidly out of wood following Romania’s independence in 1878. Then, after the end of WWI, another plaster and concrete version replaced it in 1922. Today, it symbolizes the soldiers lost during both wars.
The Washington Square Arch in New York City, USA
This marble arch is found in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. It is a Roman-style arch which commemorates the 100-year anniversary of George Washington’s 1789 inauguration as the first President of the United States.
The miniature Arc de Triomphe in Las Vegas, USA
There is a small « city » located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, USA, based around the theme of Paris. The pretend city includes a miniature replica of a few different Parisian landmarks, including the aforementioned Eiffel Tower, and of course, the Arc de Triomphe. It is two-thirds the size of the original.
Rosedale World War I Memorial Arch in Kansas City, USA
This arch is dedicated to the soldiers from the Rosedale neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas, USA who fought and died in World War I. Once again, this arch takes its inspiration from the symbolism of the Parisian Arc de Triomphe.
Arc de Triomf in Barcelona, Spain
This red brick arch was built in 1888 and includes a sculpture which reads « Barcelona rep les nacions » (Catalan for « Barcelona welcomes the nations »). It was the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair, and stands in front of the same location where the Fair is still held every year.
Arco di Costantino in Rome, Italy
The Arch of Constantine was built in AD 315 and dedicated to the emperor Constantine the Great. It commemorates his victory in the Battle of Milvian Bridge in AD 312. It is the largest Roman arch and is made of concrete and marble.
Brandenburger Tor in Berlin, Germany
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was constructed in 1788 after the Batavian Revolution. It is a symbol of European unity and peace. Today, it is one of the best-known historical landmarks in Germany.
Wellington Arch in London, England
Located in Hyde Park Corner in London, this arch was built in 1826 at a different location. It was moved to its current location in 1882. It was commissioned by King George IV in 1825 to commemorate British victories in the Napoleonic Wars.
La Porte d’Aix in Marseille, France
That’s right! There is more than one Arc de Triomphe in France! The Porte d’Aix in Marseille is a Roman-style arch built in 1825. It commemorates the Peace of Paris treaties and the end of the American Revolutionary War. It pulls its inspiration from the Arch of Constantine in Rome.
What about the Arc de Triomphe in Montpellier?
And finally, we have our very own Arc de Triomphe right here in Montpellier. Located at the entrance to the Promenade du Peyrou park, you’ll find the Porte du Peyrou. This Arc de Triomphe was built in Montpellier in 1693. It honors the life of King Louis XIV. It contains four panels which depict important moments in the King’s reign. And unlike its relative in Paris, you can visit Arc de Triomphe of Montpellier for free!
The Porte du Peyrou is located only about 10 minutes away from the Montpellier Cathedral and the Place de La Comédie on foot. There are several restaurants, cafes and bars near the arch, if you plan on making a day out of tourist sightseeing while you’re in Montpellier.
If you’re searching for hotels nearby, consider staying in one of La Comédie de Vanneau’s five fully-equipped apartment rentals in the center of Montpellier. You’ll be staying less than 10 minutes away from our very own Arc de Triomphe in the South!