In Ulster, Triumphal Arches form part of the wider cultural commemorations and celebrations of the Williamite Wars of 1688-1691. Loyal Order Parades, Band Parades, Bonfires, Flags, Bunting and Murals are also used as part of the commemorations and celebrations.
The Arches displayed during the cultural Celebrations and Commemorations in Portadown and across Ulster are known as Triumphal Arches.
Triumphal Arches are monumental structures consisting of at least one arched passageway. They are often erected to honour an important person or to commemorate a significant event. Triumphal Arches are often built to span either a street or roadway that a triumphal procession will pass under.
Triumphal Arches originate from ancient Roman Architecture. They were first built around the 2nd Century. The Arches were built all over the Roman Empire to commemorate military triumphs and other significant events such as the accession of a new Emperor.
Around the World
There are famous Triumphal Arches all over the world. Some of the most famous include the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Arch of Constantine in Rome, the Menin Gate in Belgium and the Thiepval Memorial in Picardy, France.
The Arches of Portadown
Outside of Belfast, Portadown has always took centre stage for the wide variety of Arches displayed. The number of Arches displayed in Portadown during the cultural celebrations and commemorations is a testimony to the town’s proud title of ‘The Orange Citadel’.
The earliest reference to an Arch in Portadown can be found in the House of Commons Journal (Hansard). It was erected in July 1835 in Woodhouse Street.
The Arches throughout the town are looked after by individual committees. The individuals on the committees dedicate a lot of time throughout the year to raising funds for the Arches and also maintaining their upkeep. Without these hardworking individuals in the community the Arches would not be put up for all to enjoy as part of the Cultural Celebrations.