The Porte Saint-Denis of the Wall of Charles V in Paris, France

Welcome to “Art, Culture & Books” with me Anthony King. Today I’ll be taking you on a photographic tour of The Porte Saint-Denis of the Wall of Charles V (fifth) from 1672 in Paris, France which is still around in all its glory! The Parisian arch is located at the site of one of the gates of the Wall of Charles V (fifth) which was one of Paris’ former city walls.

The Porte Saint-Denis, also called the St. Denis Gate, is a famous monument in the 10th district of Paris. It marks where one of the gates used to be in the Wall of Charles V (fifth), an old city wall in Paris. Built from 1356 to 1383, the Porte Saint-Denis protected the Right Bank of Paris. It had two gates, four towers, portcullises, a drawbridge, and a rock-cut ditch for defence. But, as weapons improved, like gunpowder, the walls were partly taken down in the 1640s.

The stronger Louis XIII (13) Wall replaced them, and by the 1670s, the rest of Charles V’s (fifth) walls were removed as Paris grew beyond its medieval boundaries. To replace the old gate, Louis XIV (14) asked architect François Blondel and sculptor Michel Anguier to build a big arch. This arch celebrated the capture of Franche-Comté in 1668 and victories in the Franco-Dutch War. They started working on the Porte Saint-Denis in 1672, and Paris paid for it. The arch was properly restored in 1988.

The Porte Saint-Denis is the first of four triumphal arches in Paris which obviously includes the Arc de Triomphe created in 1836. Inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome, the Porte Saint-Denis is a triumphal arch that is 24.65 meters (80.9 ft) tall, 25 meters (82 ft) wide, and 5 meters (16 ft) deep. The central arch itself is 15.35 meters (50.4 ft) tall and 8 meters (26 ft) wide. On both sides of the main arch, there are obelisks with sculptures of weapons and trophies. Above the arch, the south side has Michel Anguier’s sculpture, “The Passage of the Rhine,” and the north side has allegorical figures representing the Rhine and the Netherlands.