La Défense

La Défense lies outside the busy périphérique so outside the city of Paris boundary but, it is the showcase business district. The centerpiece is La Grande Arche which interestingly, was designed by the Danish architect Johan Otto Spreckelsen to celebrate the bicentenary of the French Revolution in 1989. The giant monument is constructed from granite and marble and from its terrace there is a direct line of vision along Avenue Charles de Gaulle to the Arc de Triomphe. Though it can’t be seen from ground level, the straight line continues along Champs-Élysée to Place de la Concorde, the Jardin des Tuilleries and the pyramid of the Louvre. I have walked this route just once and enjoyed every moment.

Named after a stand against the Prussians in the 1870 Franco-Prussian war, La Défense boasts 2 shopping malls, the smaller of which is the triangular shaped, airy CINIT center which was designed and built to be an exhibition hall.


A Sunny lunchtime will bring the office workers out from the skyscrapers and perhaps to a restaurant but, many can be seen picnicking amongst the futuristic buildings and artwork.