Located at the foot of Moran Hill, the Arc de Triomphe of Pyongyang was built in the exact location where Kim Il-Sung gave one of his most famous speeches in front of 400 000 spectators on October 14, 1945. The construction was completed in 1982 for the 70 years of the Grand leader and was to be imposing. The guides will not fail to emphasize that it measures between 3 and 9 meters more than its Parisian version and is the second largest arch in the world after that of Mexico.
A relief with a song to the glory of Kim Il-Sung is visible on the upper part, and the dates of the beginning and the end of the Japanese occupation (1925 and 1945) are inscribed on the pylons, thus celebrating the heroism of the Eternal Leader while resisting and while being victorious. The Arch consists of 25 500 blocks of stone and each block represent a day that Kim Il-Sung has lived. The building is illuminated at night and would possess its own generator in case there is an electrical failure.
There is a souvenir shop nearby and is part of almost all itineraries: it offers a beautiful collection of printed or hand-painted propaganda posters. If you go to the DMZ, wait for the border shop: the choice is even bigger, and the prices a little more interesting. Apart from the posters, you can also buy scarves which are identical to those worn by the students or a replica of the jackets of the North Korean athletes and they are not available elsewhere.
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