The Triumphal Arch in Paris (Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile) is a monumental structure located in the middle of the Place Charles de Gaulle (also known as Place de l'Étoile), in the Champs-Élysées district, at the border of the 8th, 16th and 17th arrondissement. It was built as a homage to French soldiers who died in the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. That is why it is engraved with the names of French generals and the reliefs commemorating victories of the Napoleon's army, including the battle of Aboukir and the Battle of Austerliz.
The construction of the arch, commissioned by Napoleon, began in 1806 but was not completed until 1836, when Louis-Philippe was the king of France. The design of this famous monument is the work of Jean Chalgrin, who was inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome. Although the French structure, being 50 metres tall, is much taller than the 15 metre high Roman one, they both have exactly the same proportions. On the right face of the arch there is François Rude's relief "The Departure of the Volunteers of 1792" (commonly known as "La Marseillaise"). At the top of the arch there are 30 shields bearing the names of Napoleon's victorious battles. Beneath the arch's vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the First World War.
The Triumphal Arch was a place where the troops of an army paraded after the successful battles as well as during Bastille Day Military Parade held annually. On such occasions celebratory marches around and under the Arch were organized, some of the most famous ones included the Germans (1871 and 1940), the French (1919), and the French and Allies (1944 and 1945).
The Arc de Triomphe is the second largest triumphal arch in the world (smaller only than the one in Pyongyang). It is so large that in 1919 Charles Godefroy flew under it in his Nieuport biplane, which was captured by the local television.