Arcul de Triumf (the Arch of Triumph) is one of Bucharest most representative monuments. It is not just the preferred photo shoot scene of thousands of local brides, but also an important part of Romania’s culture and history. Located in the northern part of Bucharest, on the Kiseleff Road, this monumental arch marks the historical moment when Romania gained its independence, in 1878. The initial “Arc de Triumf” was built of wood and under its magnificent arch the victorious Romanian troops marched proudly. Since then two other arches were built on the same site, each one of them was a symbol of the country’s great triumphs.
The second “Arc de Triumf” was built in 1922, after World War I, and it lasted only 13 years as in 1935 it was demolished and replaced by the current arch. The one that stands to this day was built in September 1936, has a height of 27 meters, its foundation measures 25 x 11.50 meters and follows the plans of the genius architect Petre Antonescu. Ion Jalea and Dimitrie Paciurea are just a few of the famous Romanian sculptors that created the images that decorate the facades of the triumphal arch. Besides local sculptors, about 10 Italian artists contributed to its unique aesthetics. On every 1st of December, when Romania’s National Day is celebrated, a military parade is held under the “Arc de Triumf”.
The “Arch of Triumph” celebrates Romania’s participation in the World War I on the Allied side, as well as the fact that when the war was over all the Romanian lands were reunited in one country. This was called the Great Union and it was marked by replacing the old wooden arch with a permanent one in 1922 when the first Union parade took place under the Arch of Triumph.
The design of the Arch is also monumental. Among the great artists that worked on it we mention Constantin Baraschi, Alexandru Calinescu, Mac Constantinescu, Ion Jalea, Dimitrie Paciurea si Costin Petrescu. On the south side Mac Constantinescu and Constantin Baraschi sculpted a symbolic image of the Great Victory. Identically located on the north side, there are the Manhood allegories created by Ion Jalea and Faith by Constantin Baraschi, as well as two other Victories created by Cornel Medrea and Dimitrie Onofrei. The pillars which sustain the 27 meters tall monument have interior stairs which lead to the superior terrace. The Romanian architect Victor G. Stefanescu was in charge with the technical review and supervision of the construction works which begun in April 1935 and took about a year and a half to be completed. The Inauguration ceremony was held on 1 December 1936, when the country celebrated 18 years since the Union of Transylvania and Romania took place. The momentum was marked by the participation of King Carol II, his mother Queen Mary, Prince Mihai, members of the Romanian Government and many important local and foreign guests.
Nowadays, the “Arch of Triumph” represents one of Bucharest’s most important symbols. Its interiors host a small museum which can be visited only on special occasions. The visitors can view 4 important exhibitions: the Great War of Reunification of the Nation (photography and film), the Heraldry of the Great Noble Families (bronze effigies, photography), the Arch of Triumph in Images (photography, layouts), the Great Union of 1918 (where there are photography and the 1:1 copies of the crowns and royal scepter) and the superior terrace can be accessed as well.
Imge Credit Abublog