Arch Monuments

Arch monuments are great tourist attractions all around the world. Built to pay tribute to important people, or commemorate historic events, these man-made arches are great architectural landmarks, each with their own stories to tell. There are some extraordinary arch monuments all over the world, with some of the granest in Europe.

Europe's Astronomical Clocks

Rua Augusta Arch, Lisbon, Portugal

The Rua Augusta Arch is located in Lisbon, Portugal, on Commerce Square. This stone triumphal arch monument is a historical construction which was built to commemorate the reconstruction of the city after the destructive earthquake in 1755. It has 6 columns and several statues of historical figures. Initially designed as a bell tower, it has a significant height that gives it a heavy appearance.

Arcade du Cinquantenaire, Brussels, Belgium

The Arch of Cinquantenaire is located in Brussels, Belgium. It is a monumental triple arch that stands tall at the centre of the Cinquantenaire park. It is known for its unique architecture, with the sidewalls featuring personifications of Belgian provinces, columns echoing the original layout of Avenue de Tervuren and most importantly, the bronze quadriga sculptural group at the top.

Arch of Constantine, Rome, Italy

The Arch of Constantine is between the Palatine Hill and the Colosseum in Rome. It is a magnificent triumphal arch, constructed to commemorate the victory of Constantine I over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. The arch is made of marble, with intricate 2nd century reliefs on the stone. This amazing arch monument is the latest among the triumphal arches that still exist in Rome.

Arc de Triomf, Barcelona, Spain

The Arc de Triomf is located in Barcelona, Spain, at the top of the Passeig de Lluis Companys promenade. It is a memorial or triumphal arch which was constructed to serve as the main access gate for the Barcelona World Fair in 1888. This arch is constructed in reddish brickwork. It has a Neo-Mudejar style. The front frieze has a stone sculpture, while the opposite carving has a stone carving.

Siegestor, Munich, Germany

The Siegestor is located in Munich, between the Ludwig Maximilian University and the Ohmstrasse. This stunning arch monument has three arches, and a statue of Bavaria with a lion-quadriga crowned at the top of the triumphal arch, and other statues. The arch was originally built as a dedication to the Bavarian army. It is now a monument which stands as a reminder of peace.

Arch de Triomphe, Paris, France

The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile (Triumphal Arch of the Star) is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly named Place de l'Étoile — the étoile or "star" of the juncture formed by its twelve radiating avenues. The Arc de Triomphe should not be confused with a smaller arch, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which stands west of the Louvre. The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

As the central cohesive element of the Axe historique (historic axis, a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on a route which runs from the courtyard of the Louvre to the Grande Arche de la Défense, the Arc de Triomphe was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806 and its iconographic program pits heroically nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail. It set the tone for public monuments with triumphant patriotic messages.

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, Paris, France

The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is a triumphal arch in Paris, located in the Place du Carrousel standing west of the Louvre. It was built between 1806 and 1808 to commemorate Napoleon's military victories of the previous year. The more famous Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, across from the Champs Élysées, was designed in the same year; it is about twice the size and was not completed until 1836. It is also an example of Corinthian style architecture. Around its exterior are eight Corinthian columns of marble, topped by eight soldiers of the Empire.

Porta Sempione, Milan, Italy

Porta Sempione ("Simplon Gate") is a city gate of Milan, Italy. The name "Porta Sempione" is used both to refer to the gate proper and to the surrounding district ("quartiere"), a part of the Zone 1 division (the historic city centre), including the major avenue of Corso Sempione.[1] The gate is marked by a landmark triumphal arch called Arco della Pace ("Arch of Peace"), dating back to the 19th century, although its origins can be traced back to a gate of the Roman walls of Milan. The Simplon Gate is located at the center of a wide round square known as "Piazza Sempione" (Simplon Square). It is adjacent to the Simplon Park, the main city park of Milan, which was designed with the explicit intent of providing panoramic views encompassing both the Arch and the nearby Sforza Castle.

Triumphal Arch, Innsbruck, Austria

Situated at the south end of Maria-Theresien Strasse, the Triumphal Arch, modeled after roman archetypes, was built by Empress Maria Theresa on occasion of the marriage of her son, the Duke of Tuscany, later Emperor Leopold II, to Maria Ludovica from Spain. The marble reliefs were created by Balthasar Moll in 1744. The ones on the south side show Leopold and his bride Ludovika, the ones on the north show Empress Maria Theresia and her beloved husband, Francis I Stephen of Lothringen, who sadly died during the celebrations.

Admiralty Arch, London

Admiralty Arch is a landmark building in London which incorporates an archway providing road and pedestrian access between The Mall, which extends to the southwest, and Trafalgar Square to the northeast. Admiralty Arch, commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of his mother, Queen Victoria and designed by Aston Webb is now a Grade I listed building. The arch was designed by Aston Webb, who also designed the Victoria Memorial and the new façade of Buckingham Palace on the other end of the Mall. Admiralty Arch was completed in 1912. It adjoins the Old Admiralty Building, hence the name. The building was commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of his mother Queen Victoria, although he did not live to see its completion in 1912.

Porte Saint-Denis, Paris, France

The Porte Saint-Denis, Paris, was built to commemorate the victories of Louis XIV of France. Located in the 10th arrondissement, at the site of one of the gates of the Wall of Charles V, one of Paris' former city walls, it sits at the crossing of the Rue Saint-Denis continued by the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, with the Boulevard de Bonne-Nouvelle and the Boulevard Saint-Denis. The Porte Saint-Denis was originally a gateway through the Wall of Charles V that was built between 1356 and 1383 to protect the Right Bank of Paris. The medieval fortification had two gates and was surmounted with four towers. Additional portcullises defended the outer gate along with a drawbridge and rock-cut ditch. The Porte Saint-Denis was the first of four triumphal arches to be built in Paris. The three others are the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (1674), Porte Saint-Martin (1674), and Arc de Triomphe (1836).

Porte Saint-Martin, Paris, France

The Porte Saint-Martin is a Parisian monument located at the site of one of the gates of the now-destroyed fortifications of Paris. It is located at the crossing of Rue Saint-Martin, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin and the grands boulevards Boulevard Saint-Martin and Boulevard Saint-Denis. The Porte Saint-Martin was designed by architect Pierre Bullet (a student of François Blondel, architect of the nearby Porte Saint-Denis) at the order of Louis XIV in honor of his victories on the Rhine and in Franche-Comté. Built in 1674, it replaced a medieval gate in the city walls built by Charles V. It was restored in 1988. The arch is a heavily rusticated triumphal arch, 18 meters high, built in limestone and marble.

Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest, Romania

Arcul de Triumf is a triumphal arch located in the northern part of Bucharest, on the Kiseleff Road. It honours the Heroes of the War of Independence and World War I. The arch has a height of 27 metres and was built after the plans of the architect Petre Antonescu. It has as its foundation a 25 x 11.50 metres rectangle. The sculptures with which the facades are decorated were created by famous Romanian sculptors such as Ion Jalea and Dimitrie Paciurea. Nowadays, military parades are held beneath the arch each 1 December, with the occasion of Romania's national holiday. The arch was inaugurated in September 1936.

Wellington Arch, London

Wellington Arch, also known as Constitution Arch or (originally) the Green Park Arch, is a triumphal arch located to the south of Hyde Park in central London and at the western corner of Green Park (although it is now isolated on a traffic island). Built nearby between 1826 and 1830 to a design by Decimus Burton, it was moved to its present position in 1882–83. It once supported an equestrian statue of the 1st Duke of Wellington; the original intention of having it topped with sculpture of a "quadriga" or ancient four-horse chariot was not realised until 1912.

General Staff Building Arch, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Arch of General Staff Building in Saint Petersburg, built to commemorate Russia's victory over Napoleon. The monumental Neoclassical building was designed by Carlo Rossi in the Empire style and built in 1819-1829. It consists of two wings, which are separated by a tripartite triumphal arch adorned by sculptors Stepan Pimenov and Vasily Demuth-Malinovsky and commemorating the Russian victory over Napoleonic France in the Patriotic War of 1812. The arch links Palace Square through Bolshaya Morskaya Street to Nevsky Prospekt. The western wing now hosts the headquarters of the Western Military District. The eastern wing was given to the Hermitage Museum in 1993 and was extensively remodeled inside.

Arco della Vittoria, Genoa, Italy

The Arco della Vittoria (Victory Arch), also known as Monumento ai Caduti or Arco dei Caduti (Arch of the Fallen), is a memorial arch located in Piazza della Vittoria (it) in Genoa, Italy. It is dedicated to the Genoese who died during World War I, and it was inaugurated on 31 May 1931. The arch is built at the end of a semicircular ramp, and has two side doors leading to a crypt. In the sanctuary, there are some statues by sculptor Giovanni Prini representing Victories, Saint George and the coat of arms of Genoa. There are also other sculptures by Prini, including a reproduction of the bollettino della Vittoria, the bollettino della Marina and the names of the fallen.

Thiepval Memorial, Picardy, France

The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme is a war memorial to 72,246 missing British Empire servicemen who died in the Battles of the Somme of the First World War between 1915 and 1918, with no known grave. It is near the village of Thiepval, Picardy in France. A visitors' centre opened in 2004. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, Thiepval has been described as; "the greatest executed British work of monumental architecture of the twentieth century." The Memorial was built approximately 200 metres to the south-east of the former Thiepval Château, which was located on lower ground, by the side of Thiepval Wood. The grounds of the original château were not chosen as this would have required the moving of graves, dug during the war around the numerous medical aid stations.

Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing is a war memorial in Ypres, Belgium, dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose graves are unknown. The memorial is located at the eastern exit of the town and marks the starting point for one of the main roads out of the town that led Allied soldiers to the front line. Designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield and built and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Menin Gate Memorial was unveiled on 24 July 1927. The carved limestone lions adorning the original gate were damaged by shellfire, and were donated to the Australian War Memorial by the Mayor of Ypres in 1936. They were restored in 1987, and currently reside at the entrance to that Memorial, so that all visitors to the Memorial pass between them.

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