The graves of a lot of American soldiers dead during World War II are located on the top of Mont Valerien, behind this huge gate.
The Mont Valerien is devoted to the WW II memory. So it is a right choise to put the graveyard there.
The Mont Valerien sheltered at the end of the Middle Age several hermits and was until the Revolution a location devoted to the faith.
During the 18e Century, there was a calvary which attracted the people of Paris who wish to make a pilgrimage the time of one Sunday.
Around 1840, the government decided to set up a fortress on the top of the Hill. It had the goal to protect the West of Paris and was useful during the war against Prussia in 1870.
Unfortunately, the consequence has also been the destruction of the windmills which were on the Mont Valerien. Now, only one is still there : the Moulin des Gibets.
The fortress is still on duty and it shelters a communication regiment. And also the last military travelling pigeons : may be, when the computers and telephone will be out of order...
This is one of the rare monument of Nanterre. It is located beside the cathedral and though it is a well it is called a fountain.
Saint Genevieve was a young citizen of Nanterre born in 420. Her mother critized her because she was always in church instead to be at home. God punished her making her blind. Genevieve cured the mother with the water of the fountain and she regained the sight. From this date, the fountain is considered as miraculous.
In 1636, the queen Anne of Austria, the Louis 13's wife (you know the queen of the 3 musketeers ?) went there to check the miracle fountain because she cannot succeed to have child.
It worked and Louis 14th was born in 1638 (the miracles go slower than the Nature).
We are very proud in Nanterre for our participation to the born of the greatest king of France.
In the city center, there is a large and beautiful garden : the parc des Anciennes Mairies. So called because the 2 initial city halls were there.
This garden is located in the former Nanterre college. It had been inaugurated in 1642 by the Queen Anne of Austria (read the tip about the Fountain Ste Genevieve), may be to thanks for the birth of Louis 14th. The college was rules by the moncks of Ste Genevieve. Just before the Revolution it was devoted to the military training for youngmen. His director, the Abbey Hazard, were a general during the Revolution and he was involved in the war in Vendee. Exceptional figure who fought against catholics though he was an abbey.
La Defense is a business area divided between Nanterre, Puteau and Courbevoie.
The Grande Arche is in Nanterre. The architecte is a Danish man whose project has been chosen though he was unknown and had previously built only a church.
A ministry is sheltered in the building and an elevator goes to the top from which the visitor can discover a large view on the West of Paris.
The mall les 4 Temps is very large and mainly devoted to clothing and apparel. There are also restaurants, cinema and a supermarket.
In front of the mall, there is the CNIT, the first building of this business area. It was built in 1959 as an exibit hall. Now it is another mall.
From time to time, some sculptures are popping up on the "Parvis de La Défense" (the square fronting the Arch) and you never know if they are to stay permanently or if they will decide, one of these days, to leave and let La Defense be a "pure" business area, without any artistic touch....
This man with binoculars is a sculpture (you had already guessed, Okayyyyy !!!). It bends his back so that it might see the top of the Arch... You'd better do some workout before trying to imitate him, if you don't want your spine to break !!
This bronze Bell was set up in the park of Mont valerien, in 2004, in memory of the resistants killed in the fortress during WW II.
The names of each of them is written on the bell.
The strange veil, dotted with pretty big holes, and some strange glass walls that make you zigzaging if you want to enjoy the other view offered by La Defense, over Nanterre itself...
I have tried and taken an "artistic" photograph... It's not such a success, but it makes it easier to see that the inner part of the Arch is covered with windows ...
I've never been able to guess why there was this sort of veil built between the pillars of the Arch... Still, it's a permanent part of the whole building...