A triumphal arch in the northern part of Bucharest, Romania, the Arcul de Triumf has had several iterations along Kiseleff Road since it was first hurriedly constructed out of wood in 1878 when Romania gained its independence.
That first arch was erected just so that the troops could march under it on their way into the city. And then the Arcul de Triumf was rebuilt in the same site in 1922 after World War I. That second temporary structure managed to stand for about 13 years before being knocked down to make way for the current arch, which is built from a much longer-lasting material: Deva granite.
Inaugurated in September 1936, the current Arcul de Triumf stands 27 meters (85 feet) high and has a rectangular base that measures 25 x 11.5 meters. Built using plans drawn up by the architect Petre Antonescu, the Arcul de Triumf was decorated by famous Romanian sculptors, including Ion Jalea and Dimitrie Paciurea. Today, the arch stands as a monument to independence and is visited by many tourists every day. Each year, military parades are held underneath the Arcul de Triumf on December 1, which marks Romania’s National Day.
An internal staircase was built so that visitors could climb to the top of the arch and look out over the city. It also hosts a small museum that includes photos of the previous iterations.
Know Before You Go
Bucharest is deceptively big, a great way to see the city and hear about the history that surrounds the likes of Arcul de Triumf is to take a bike tour. The arch is located near the King Michael I Park (formerly known as Herăstrău Park), at the intersection of Kiseleff Road and Mareșal Alexandru Averescu Blvd., bus station "Arcul de Triumf".