In 1918, the First World War came to an end. In 2018, the whole world is celebrating the armistice that brought an end to the war.
In Paris, numerous events will be held to commemorate this historic moment: exhibitions as well as ceremonies, both solemn and festive. The city is gearing up for this very special occasion.
Arc de triomphe
One of Paris’s most iconic monuments is home to the tomb of an unknown soldier representing all the French soldiers who have died serving their country. On 11 November 2018, foreign heads of state and dignitaries will assemble here on ‘Remembrance Day’ and listen as the names of soldiers who have died in service over the past year are read out.
Père Lachaise cemetery
The much-visited Paris cemetery is paying homage to the casualties of the First World War. A ceremony will be held at 5pm on 11 November 2018 to unveil a war memorial on the boundary wall of the Père Lachaise cemetery, along Boulevard de Ménilmontant. Nearly 280 m long and 1.3 m high, the memorial bears the names of the 94,415 Parisians who were killed in action, testifying to the sheer scale of the First World War.
Hôtel de Ville
On Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 November 2018, 94,415 flowers in the colours of the French flag will be strewn across the courtyard of the Hôtel de Ville de Paris. The blue, white and red pansies and primroses will pay tribute to those who died in the First World War, whose names will be projected onto the façade of the building.
Clémenceau, the courage of the Republic
In 2018, Paris is paying tribute to Georges Clémenceau. A key figure of the First World War, he is being remembered within one of Paris’s most beautiful monuments through an exhibition revisiting his life and career, from his childhood in the Vendée to his political beliefs.
In the east: war without end, 1918-1923
The Musée de l’Armée is putting on an exhibition focusing on events after the signing of the armistice: the continuation of hostilities in the Near and Middle East. A fascinating look at how stable settlements were reached in various regions of the world.
Currency or the third front during the Great War
To mark the centenary of the armistice on 11 November 1918, the Musée du 11 Conti–Monnaie de Paris is putting on an exhibition showing the role that coins and paper money played in France and Germany during the First World War. This one-off event is also an opportunity to explore the museum’s amazing collection.
Portraits of foreigners: Perceptions of otherness during the Great War
From 15 October to 15 December 2018, Paris’s garden of tropical agriculture will pay homage to the ordinary people who ran away, continued working or went to fight in the 1914-1918 period, and the connections that sprang up between people of many different backgrounds in the aftermath of the war.
Concerts and shows
A number of concerts will be held to celebrate the end of the First World War on the centenary of the 1918 armistice.
At the Petit Palais:
- Victory and Peace Concert (men’s chorus and symphony orchestra - 18 November at 4pm, auditorium. Reservation required).
At the Philharmonie: A weekend of War and Peace
- Le violoncelle de guerre (concert - 9 November at 8.30pm, amphitheatre of the Cité de la musique)
- Shell Shock, A Requiem of War (ballet - 11 November at 4.30pm, Grande Salle Pierre Boulez)
- An Zukunft (concert featuring an a cappella choir - 11 November at 6pm, Studio)
At the Maison de la Radio:
- Tombeau pour des millions de soldats (concert by the Philharmonic Orchestra – 16 November at 8pm, Radio France auditorium)
- Les Clés de l’orchestre, by and with pianist Jean-François Zygel (concert by the Philharmonic Orchestra – 17 November at 4pm, Radio France auditorium)
At the Château de Versailles
- Commemoration of the 11 November 1918 centenary (symphony orchestra concert - 11 November at 3pm, Opéra Royal)
At the Hôtel de Ville:
- Am Zukunft – Aux lendemains (concert – 8 November at 6.30pm, Salle des Fêtes. Reservation required)
- Le Cabaret du Poilu (Musical comedy – 12 December at 2.30pm, Salle des Fêtes. Reservation required)