Arcul de Triumf
Public Art : Arcul de Triumf
Also Known As: Arche de Triomphe
Designed by: © Petre Antonescu
Architect: Victor G. Stefanescu
Sculptors: © Ion Jalea, Dimitrie Paciurea, Constantin Baraschi ,
Alexander Calinescu , Mac Constantinescu , Dimitri Onofrei and Costin Petrescu
Description: The 27m high Deva granite triumphal arch was
built in honour of the Romanian Heroes of the War of Independence and World War I. On the south facade can be
found symbolic carvings of "Victory" by sculptors Constantin Baraschi and Mac Constantinescu. On the northern
facade there are allegories of men and religion by sculptors Ion Jalea and Constantin Baraschi and also
two victories sculpted by Cornel Medrea and Dimitri Onofrei. The pillars include staircases that lead to its
When the communists came to power in Romania they removed both text references of King Ferdinand's speeches
which featured on the arch. On the south side, effigies of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie, by sculptor
Alexander Calinescu, were removed and destroyed, later to be replaced with two enormous stone flowers. However,
following the fall of communism in 1989, the stone flowers were removed and two bronze medallions depicting the
faces of King Ferdinand and Queen Maria were added. The text references of King Ferdinand have yet to be
Date Unveiled: The Arcul de Triumf inauguration ceremony
took place on the 1st of December, 1936, on the 18th year anniversary of the union of Transylvania with Romania.
The ceremony was attended by King Charles II , his mother, Queen Mary , the Crown Prince Michael and members of the
Cost : $7 million (US)
Funding : By public subscriptions launched in 1935 by the Ministry
Location: The Arch de Triomphe is located on Arcul de Triumf
Square in sector 1, at the intersection of highway Kiseleff , Constantine Prezan boulevards, and
Alexandru Constantinescu Alexandru Averescu, Bucharest, Romania.
Background To The Arcul de Triumf : This triumphal arch wasn't the
first erected in Bucharest . The first arch was erected in Bucharest in 1878, to celebrate the country's
Independence. This arch was crudely constructed and made of wood. A second was erected following World War I, in
honour of the 40-year anniversary of the reign of King Charles I and the Royal family's return from
exile. A third temporary arch was erected in 1922.
The idea to erect a permanent triumphal arch was made in 1922 by the then mayor Matthew Gh Corbescu. As the cost
of the structure was expected to be enormous they erected a concrete arch with reliefs made from plaster until
sufficient money was raised. As expected the makeshift arch quickly deteriorated in the
In 1932, following an article by Micael Mora in which he criticized the government for not completing the
planned arch, the original architect Petre Antonescu was invited to finish it.
The Ministry of Defence launched a funding raising campaign, asking for support from the public and
associations and societies of former combatants of the First World War. The campaign eventually raised
The decorative works made in 1922 by sculptor Davies Mataoanu , were not used in the final restoration of the
Arch of Triumph.
Recently the mayor of Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu revealed that the City does not own the deed to the Arc
de Triomphe and in theory who ever owns the deeds could come forward to claim it.
The arch is one of the reasons why Bucharest its called "Little Paris”
Acknowledgements: Thank you to Simon Akkerman and Doreena Nita for
kindly providing the photos.