Montpellier and its Arc de Triomphe

It does not have the dimensions of a Parisian counterpart and is strongly inspired by the Porte Saint-Martin in Paris.

The Arc de Triomphe of Montpellier is a monument erected in 1691 by Augustin-Charles d'Aviler, architect of the province of Languedoc, on drawings by François II d'Orbay.

This ceremonial door symbolizes the power of royalty to access the equestrian statue dedicated to the glory of King Louis XIV.

In the continuity and like the Promenade du Peyrou, the Arc de Triomphe was classified as a historical monument in 1954.

The construction of the Arc de Triomphe of Montpellier will have cost the city 11 850 pounds at the time or 217 000 €.

Built on one of the highest points of the city, at an altitude of 52 meters, it gave access to the Puy d'Arquinel, in Peyrou.

Before its construction, a drawbridge allowed to cross a ditch that delimited the city walls.

Today, a 28-meter wide stone bridge replaces this structure.

Although smaller than that of the Porte Saint-Martin in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe is still 15 meters high and 18 meters wide.

Its portico has an opening of 4.70 meters and a height of 7 meters. Its construction required the extraction of more than 120 m3 of stone, most of it coming from the garrigues, notably the quarries around Montpellier and Pignan, Saint-Jean-de-Védas, Pondres or Saint-Geniès-des-Mourgues.

This Arc de Triomphe bears the inscription "Ludovico magno LXXII annos regnante dissociatis repressis conciliatis gentibus quatuor decennali bello conjuratis pax terra marique parta 1715", which translates as "Louis the Great, whose reign lasted seventy-two years, brought peace on land and sea after having separated, contained and attached himself to allied peoples in a war of forty years".

Note the presence of four allegorical medallions to the glory of the "Great" King, including one representing the revocation of the Edict of Nantes which had assured a certain religious freedom to Protestants between 1598 and 1685, then was suppressed.


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