The Triumphal Arch (Arcul de Triumf) of Bucharest, which is located on the Kiseleff Street, was declared a historical monument in 2004. It is one of the most notable landmarks of the capital and, next to the Parliament Palace, it can be deemed a symbol of Bucharest. The structure of the current Triumphal Arch dates back to 1922, whereas the present decorative elements were added only 16 years later, in 1938, the year when the monument, in its final form, was inaugurated.
However, the history of the monument dates back to the mid 19th century. Until 1922, previous versions of the arch were hastily and repeatedly built in 1848, 1859, 1878, 1906 and 1918, in order to mark certain military and political achievements of Romania. Yet, given the perishable nature of the construction material (chiefly wood), these versions did not survive.
The reinforced concrete structure was inaugurated in 1922, in order to celebrate the victory of Romania in World War One, and the event was attended by the most important political figures of the time, including foreign politicians from Europe, Japan and the USA. The bearing structure of the edifice survived in time, but the decorative elements (bas-reliefs chiefly) were made of plaster, and they decayed rapidly. This is why they were replaced with marble and stone elements, mainly allegorical sculptures realized by sundry artists of the time, under the supervision of Petre Antonescu, the same architect who designed the bearing structure of the 1922 arch.
At present, the Triumphal Arch dominates the surroundings of the Kiseleff Street, marking the intersection of this thoroughfare with the Constantin Brezan Boulevard, the Alexandru Averescu Boulevard and with the Alexandru Constantinescu Boulevard. It is one of the emblematic monuments of the capital and a tourist sight just as important as the C.E.C. Palace, the Parliament Palace or the Romanian Athenaeum.
Şoseaua Kiseleff, Bucharest, Romania