Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency features the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. The arch is an iconic symbol of French national identity. It is also one of the best-known commemorative monuments in the world.
The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon I in 1806 to celebrate the country’s military achievements, and to honor those who fought and died in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The construction of the monument began on August 15, 1807, and it took 30 years to build.
“The arch stands at the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle, the meeting point of 12 grand avenues which form a star (or étoile), which is why it is also referred to as the Arch of Triumph of the Star. The arch is 50 meters high and 45 meters wide,” reports ESA.
“The names of all French victories and generals are inscribed on the arch’s inner and outer surfaces, while the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I lies beneath its vault. The tomb’s flame is rekindled every evening as a symbol of the enduring nature of the commemoration and respect shown to those who have fallen in the name of France.”
“The Arc de Triomphe’s location at the Place Charles de Gaulle places it at the heart of the capital and the western terminus of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.”
“Often referred to as the ‘most beautiful avenue in the world,’ the Champs-Élysées is known for its theatres, cafés and luxury shops, as the finish of the Tour de France cycling race, as well as for its annual Bastille Day military parade.”
Video Credit: ESA