Have you heard about La Défense in the city of lights ~ Paris?

Paris – well known for its iconic Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, museums, cafes and what not. There is also a urban side to the city which drove my urge to explore La Défense. 


La Défense is the largest office complex in Europe and is filled with skyscrapers and urban architecture. After the First World War concluded, an axis from Arc De Triomphe was planned at the Etoile to La Défense which is western edge of Paris city. There was ambiguity over the height of buildings to be built there as per current Triumphal manner. Later it was agreed to build urban skyscrapers at the end of long avenue so as to avoid the obstruction of Etoile’s view.


In 1931 though, the authorities organized a new competition, but the intent was to limit the height of the buildings along the Triumphal Way. Only at the end of the long avenue, at the Défense towers were allowed. This was recommended by the authorities as towers close to the center would obstruct the view on the Etoile. 

#A Forest of Towers

After the second World War ended, in the beginning of 1950’s the La Défense site was selected as an office space. The forest of towers were the first skyscrapers to be built of equal height. The towers would contain 25 stories where 25 offices will come up. Later on various companies started to root for taller towers and hence the complex today holds various towers of varied heights. The highest tower stands at 589 feet, and this caused public criticism towards the forest of towers which ultimately led the authorities to build modern age Grand Arche.


#Grande Arche de la Défense

Grand Arche was primarily built with the concept of modern day Arc de Triomphe. French President Mitterrand supported urban Grand Arche or Great Arch. The Arche is a cube shaped structure standing at 106 meters built by a Danish architect – Otto von Spreckelsen.

Source – Google
Have you been to La Défense or work there? Do share your experience with me!!

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– The Wanderer

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  1. I’ve only been to Paris once, and definitely didn’t see as much as I could have. I had an awesome experience, though, so no regrets. Thank you for sharing about this lesser known area.


  2. How interesting, I’ve been to Paris (10 years ago) and never knew that area was there! We only had one day, though, so we hit the big tourist attractions.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such amazing architecture. When talking about Paris, I always think of Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame. Now I know one more wonderful and unique place. The building is so attractive and magnificent. Thanks for sharing us those beautiful pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh it’s so interesting to find out things about Paris I didn’t know of. Whenever anyone writes about Paris it’s always the Eiffel Tower and the big named things. But it’s nice to hear and see the beauty of other things Paris has to offer.

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  5. That’s so interesting to see an urban side to Paris. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it, especially when doing research for my trip to Paris! Good to know it exists for any future trips!

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  6. I know about the La Défense because I used to be an investor and I stayed in the area last year when I was in Paris. I think is definitely an area worthwhile visiting, completely different to central Paris but stunning in its own way.

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  7. What an interesting read – we had never heard about La Défense, the buildings are huge! I hope we can visit there next time we head to Paris!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Damn I didnt know it was beautiful and a nice spot to visit . I was in Paris last year and Ive heard it’s a good place for shopping so I wasnt really interested in shopping and I didnt go there. but I def must go when I go back to Paris. Thanks for sharing now I know what is it

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  9. I love to visit Paris and I do so every year as I do not live far from France. I never really came up with the idea to go to La defence. I see that you can take some great photo’s. Yours look great! My most favorite location to take photo’s is at Trocadero garden near the Eiffel tower.

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  10. OH my goodness, this post takes me back to my years in Paris. Yes, I’ve been a few times to La Defense. I though it was a place full of very interesting modern design. It definitely give Paris a new feel for sure. nice info and photos you have here too.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve never heard of La Defense even though I’ve been to Paris. I like the look of these buildings, they’re so impressive. It’s good to know they made something out of the area after the war.

    Liked by 1 person

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