The Arc de Triomphe today stands at the centre of a the worlds largest traffic roundabout at the intersection of 12 avenues which radiate through Paris, the most famous of which is the Champs ´Elyseé. It is one of the most well know monuments in Paris (and indeed the world).
The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to commemorate military victory by French forces particularly in the Napoleonic wars. It stands almost 50 metres in height and is 45 metres in width and is part of a series of monuments which stand in a line from the Louvre in one direction to the outskirts of the city in the other. The exterior and interior are covered with intricate sculptures and friezes acknowledging various aspects of Frances military engagements during Napoleonic times. On Armistice day in 1920 the body of an unknown soldier was entombed under the structure and together with an eternal flame commemorates the fallen soldiers who have never been identified.
Visitors today can visit the Arc de Triomphe and may purchase tickets to the top of the monument where they can see sweeping views over Paris. Pedestrian access is by way of a tunnel underneath the roundabout. Several times a day daredevils or those unaware of the tunnel can be seen running across the roundabout, but this is extremely dangerous!