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A Famous French Monument
L'Arc de Triomphe

L'Arc de Triomphe is a very large monument in Paris.  It honours soldiers who have fought and died for France and was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806.  The construction took a very long time and it was completed in 1836.

Paris Arc.jpg

It is an arch standing just over 50 metres high and 45 metres wide.  It stands in the centre of a huge roundabout where there is always a lot of traffic circling around. 

This famous roundabout is known as the 'star' because it has twelve roads running out from the centre, making it look like a 12-pointed star.  In fact, the full name of the monument is l'Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile meaning: the triumphal arch of the star. 

The ground where it stands is called la Place de l'Étoile.

Image by Rodrigo Kugnharski

Beneath the arch lies la Tombe du Soldat Inconnu - The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the First World War. 

In 1923, an 'eternal flame' - une flamme eternelle - was lit here in memory of all French soldiers lost in war.   It has remained lit ever since.  The flame is also called la Flamme du Souvenir.  Every evening at 6.30 there is a ceremony called le Ravivage de la Flamme when the flame is rekindled. 

flamme eternelle.jpg
tombe du soldat inconnu.jpg

Below you can watch a video of some students who participated in the ceremony.

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