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Definition: Arc de Triomphe from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Arch at the head of the Champs Elysées in the Place de l'Etoile, Paris, France, begun by Napoleon in 1806 and completed in 1836. It was intended to commemorate Napoleon's victories of 1805–06 and commissioned from Jean Chalgrin. Beneath it rests France's ‘Unknown Soldier’.


Summary Article: Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(ärk dӘ trēôNf' dӘ lātwäl'), imposing triumphal arch in Paris standing on an elevation at the end of the Avenue des Champs élysées and in the center of the Place de l'étoile, which is formed by the intersection of 12 radiating avenues. It commemorates the victories of Napoleon I, under whose decree it was built. Construction was begun in 1806 by J. F. Chalgrin from his own designs and was carried on after his death by L. Goust, J. N. Huyot, and G. A. Blouet successively, who brought the arch to completion in 1836. It is 164 ft (50 m) high, 148 ft (45 m) wide, and 72 ft (22 m) deep, with colossal symbolic groups flanking the arch. The principal sculpture, La Marseillaise, was executed by François Rude. In 1920 the body of an unknown French soldier of World WarI was interred beneath the arch, and a perpetual flame was lighted.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

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