Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Arch of Triumph

Walking along the Kiseleff Avenue, near the Herastru Park, you meet the Arch of Triumph. The Romanian arch was built following the French pattern, but it’s smaller and not so old. The one to be seen now was built in 1935-1936, but the fist monumental gate destined to receive the triumphant soldiers was erected here in 1878, aftrer the Independence War, but it quickly deteriorated.
A few decades later, another victory required for another celebration. A wooden arch was built in the honour of the First World War soldiers in 1922. It was also dedicated to king Ferdinand’s coronation that took place in the same year.
As Bucharest continued to flourish from the architectural point of view, the arch was remade of stone. The arch as we know it was designed by Petre Antonescu. The two bronze medallions with the portraits of king Ferdinand and queen Maria had been destroyed during the communist regime and were restored after 1989. The fronts were decorated by the sculptors Jalea, Medrea, Paciurea and Baraschi. They represent the Victory blowing the trumpet, above the medallions, and on the other front the Faith and the Bravery with the cross and the sword. Standing 25 metres high, the Arc has a staircase that allows visitors to climb to the terrace on the top of the monument.
The most important moment of the year for the arch is December the 1st, our National Day, when a parade takes place nearby. It is a well-known symbol of our town.

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