Bonjour! 5 Facts About the Arc de Triomphe That You Didn't Know About
Apr 28, 2020 13:47
Paris, France, is often called the city of love. With several attractions that are perfect for couples, it's no surprise that Paris is one of the most famous places in the world. One of the city's iconic landmarks is the Eiffel Tower. Most people are awestruck at seeing such an impressive architectural feat. The Eiffel Tower is so famous; there are over 50 replicas of it in several other countries.
Aside from the Eiffel Tower, Paris also has another iconic landmark that's just as important. That landmark is the Arc de Triomphe or the Arch of Victory. This famous landmark is located in the center of the Place de l'Étoile and the west end of the Champs-Elysées. The arch symbolizes the country's victory in the Battle of Austerlitz. When you're in Paris, it's hard to miss such an impressive landmark. Here are more arc de triomphe facts that you should know about:
The Landmark Is Made out of Limestone
The whole Arc de Triomphe is made out of limestone. Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed from bones and seashells that mix with mud and calcium carbonate. As time passes, the mixture hardens into limestone. Other famous landmarks that use limestone are the Parthenon, the Pyramids of Giza, the Lincoln Memorial, and interestingly, the Pentagon.
Tourists Should Visit the Site at 6:30 P.M.
If you ask the locals about the best time to go to the Arc de Triomphe, their answer would be 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. is where the Eternal Flame for the unknown soldier burns the brightest. Although the flame burns for a single grave, lots of people keep the fire burning to remember the sacrifices of soldiers during World War I.
A Plane Passed Under the Arc, Three Times
Believe it or not, a plane in mid-flight passed underneath the arc three times in its whole existence. Charles Godefroy, a French aviator who served during World War I, did the first flight. The story says that the flight underneath the arc was a celebration intended to remember the sacrifices of those who died during the first world war.
Charles Godefroy volunteered and made the dangerous flight seem like child's play. Many people saw the plane and were frightened. Those underneath the arc threw themselves to the ground. French police expressed disappointment at the stunt.
Luckily, Charles Godefroy only got away with a warning. Subsequently, two more planes would pass underneath the arc. The second was in 1982 by Alain Marchand, a 47-year old pilot, and flying instructor. He was fined $800 for the stunt.
The third time was in 1991, by an unnamed pilot who stole a Mudry Cap-10 airplane from a nearby flying club. What made this stunt the craziest was that the pilot flew underneath the arch and proceeded to fly underneath the Eiffel tower. Authorities discovered the plane abandoned, with the pilot nowhere to be found.
You Can Access the Top of the Arc
For $15, tourists can climb to the top of the arc and see Paris in its entirety. Aside from paying the admission fee, you need to climb 284 flights of stairs to get to the top. Alternatively, tourists are free to walk around the base of the arc.
Napoleon Ordered the Arc's Construction
On August 15, 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte commissioned the construction of the Arch. He tasked Jean Chalgrin, an architect, to design the arch. Both Napoleon and Chalgrin would not see the arch in its finished state as they died before construction was completed. Jean-Nicolas Huyot continued work on the landmark and was finished on July 30, 1836.
Aside from the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe is one of the most well-known landmarks in Paris. Be sure to visit the spot when you're in Paris so you can see the eternal flame which has been burning for more than a hundred years. You can also see the entire city of Paris once you climb the top of the arch.
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