Rising 32 metres high and topped by two sculpted angels, this triumphal arch was built to celebrate Louis XIV’s conquest of Lille.
In 1667, Louis XIV was at war with the Spanish Kingdom, which at the time controlled the Spanish Netherlands, including Flanders. King Louis XIV led his army of 35,000 men to capture the Flemish city of Lille, and after a siege that lasted 17 days, the city surrendered to the French.
Under French rule, large fortified walls were built to defend the city. Several gates were built through the old city walls, but the most notable was the Porte de Paris (Paris Gate). It was built between 1685 and 1692 to celebrate the glory of the king’s victory, and today it is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of military architecture.