La Défense

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Paris, France
La Défense - Under la Grande Arche
La Défense - View on la Défense from the Tuileries
La Défense - View on la Défense from the Tuileries
La Défense - Le Bassin Takis

La Défense Paris Reviews

evelinak evelinak
2 reviews
Different part of Paris Jun 23, 2011
It is really different part of Paris. A lot of skyscraper. Being in "La Defense" you can forget that you are in Paris and feel like in you are in a suburb of New York.

In La Defense in the main square at the summer time (this year Du 18 juin 2011 au 26 juin 2011) you can enjoy free Jazz Festival.
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Sunrise5 Sunrise5
43 reviews
Place full of hidden symbolism Apr 24, 2009
In the ordinary guide, la Défense is described as the Parisian business district, which is the biggest of Europe - finito. But there's so much more about it, though.

Let's start with the name, which appears a bit strange in the first moment. Yet it comes from a monument, which is called "La Défense" and is still standing unconspicuously in the middle of the hustle-bustle. It reminds of the soldiers who defended Paris during the war between France and Germany in 1870.

On the area, there's also a museum about La Défense.It's located in a building next to the red sculpture resembling a Mc-Donald's "M" (though it's named "the spider"). In this museum, one learns about the history of la Defense and the Grand Arche. One can also see the concepts for this monument that were handed in by different architects during the tendering. There one can also get leaflets and a little map, which shows all the pieces of art around the area (which are no less than 65). And again all of them full of symbolism. It's quite a nice occupation to find them all.

It's also worth catching a glimpse behind the Grande Arche. Firstly, there is a group of towers with an amazing desingn, secondly there's a certain bridge. This bridge is wooden in the middle and on both sides there's only a grate seperating you from the street 10m below. Walk along the grate on the right side of the bridge and you will find something pretty intresting: Along the balustrade (400m length) theres a little bronze relief every 3m. One shows a volcano, one a nutshell, another one a female navel and so on. It's funny to guess what it could be.

Another intresting building is the CNIT, which is still the largest domed structure without any joists in the world (218m length).

Yet, it's the Grande Arche, which is the most popular element of the whole area. It continues the line between the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and the Arc de Triomphe. Through this arch, there's also an imagined line leading, which goes around the world and connects 5 continents and lots of large cities. You can find more info about that on a plaque under the Grande Arche.

As already said, it's the western point of a line coming from the Louvre. However, it is turned south about 6,5°. It was build on large columns, between which there are going the metro, different autoroutes, the RER etc. so they had to find a solution which fits. The intresting point about it is, that the Louvre is turned also 6,5° NORTH and most funny: The Grand Arche apparently doesn't point on the Louvre...but it still does point somewhere. And this is: La tour Eiffel :-) Fascinating, isn't it?

But this is not all. Behind the CNIT (one really has to keep eyes open) there is a church, which honestly looks rather like a cinema. One really has to look for the cross. But it's worth a short visit, because inside they have a wonderful sculpture. Walk up the stairs into church itself. Inside, walk along the wall on the left. In a niche, you will find it almost floating in the air. It's a sculpture of Mary - and a really beautiful one.
Le Bassin Takis
Under la Grande Arche
View on la Défense from the Tuile…
bernard69 says:
Very informative!
Posted on: May 19, 2009

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