La Défense, Paris

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  • La Défense
    by wilocrek
  • At night, with music
    At night, with music
    by kokoryko
  • LA Defense towards arc de triomphe
    LA Defense towards arc de triomphe
    by gwened
  • Diana75's Profile Photo

    Les Miroirs in La Defense

    by Diana75 Written Feb 20, 2006

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    Les Miroirs in La Defense

    Les Miroirs is placed in the center of the small square surrounded by Henri La Fonta's building.

    Being also considered the largest mosaic in the world (2500 sqm), known as the Grande Mosaique, don't think (as we did) that you will see a huge area on the soil covered by mosaic.

    It is actually consisting in 10 cylinders decorated with mosaics (see the pictures).

    Poisson Tower that ca be admired from the patio has a giant clock-barometer giving the weather for the Paris region.

    I've read that it also marks the hours with flashing lights, but guys, we've stared at it for half on hour before, at and after 21:00 and nothing happened.

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    La Grande Arche in La Defense

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 20, 2006

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    La Grande Arche in La Defense
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    Although very modern, La Grande Arche in La Defense cannot be other then impressive.

    The construction to this immense arch began in 1955 and is still developing.

    Made of glass and white Carrara marble the arch is actually a huge cube (110m) in which the Notre-Dame Cathedral can fit easily.

    The arch is housing offices of French government and international companies, but also galleries, a library and a restaurant.

    From the top terrace a magnificent view of Paris can be admired.

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    La Defense

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 20, 2006

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    La Defense
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    Although I'm not a big fan of modern architecture, I have to admit that I really liked La Defense.

    In a huge contrast to the old historical part of Paris, I had the impression of being in another world, in other time. Or better in Besson's "The 5th element"...

    Wearing the name of a monument commemorating the defense of Paris of 1871, La Defense is divided in 11 zones, with business offices, parks, sport facilities, a botanical garden and an open-air gallery.

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  • June.b's Profile Photo

    Back to the Future!

    by June.b Updated Nov 9, 2005

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    The Grand Arche dela Defense
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    During my second week in Paris, I've met Carol, a charming parissine who organized a small VT meet, her, myself, an american newly wed couple and Carol's friend formerly US-based, now Paris-based (sorry Carol dear that I've forgotten the name). Our destination - La Defense!

    I think I've mentioned that I loved how it is being pronounced with that stuffy-nose French accent on the "fense" part (fons).

    We started some walking along the Seine river going to the Concorde. NO! we did not walk from Concorde to La Defense, silly! So walking along rows of centuries old buildings, we took the almost an hour bus ride to La Defense. We got so busy inside the bus watching and listening to our friend Carol giving endless directions to a somewhat obstinate lost tourist.

    Believe me, it's a different kind of experience. It's like being swept forth in time - from old environs to some kind of futuristic backdrop. You wouldn't even notice it, until you come out of the escalator leading to the "Grand Arch".

    Going up the escalator, the imposing and massive Grand Arche de la Defense will greet you. It is the 20th century version of the Arch De Triomphe. The Grand Arche is a business centre, music and arts exhibitions, and dining experience. And yes, you can take the elevator up the tower to see the whole ground below and the fabulous view of the city centre.

    Most of the buildings around the Arche are tall & massive modern office buildings. The sight of the camouflage-painted buildings looks to me like it were renovated war-era edifices.

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  • Pieter11's Profile Photo

    The Grande Arche

    by Pieter11 Written Sep 5, 2005

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    The Grande Arche

    After the construction of La Défense the people of Paris complained about the large amount of high, concrete buildings and wanted to have a nicer sight from the top of the Arc the Troimphe. From here you can see La Défense very good. The former president Mitterand thought out the solution. He wanted a 20th century Arc de Triomphe as a gateway to La Défense. The idea of a Grande Arche was born.

    The Danish designer Otto van Spreckelsen drew a cube-shaped arch with a height of 106 meters. The vertical parts of the arch contain offices. The top floor is a exhibition area, that is accesible by a glass lift. At the top you have a nice view over La Défense and at the centre, that is 4 km´s away.

    The Grande Arche is the third Arch in the line, starting in the centre of the Louvre with the Arc de Triomphe du Carroussel, going all the way over the Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Elysées towards the Arc de Triomphe and then over the Rue de la Grande Armée all the way towards La Défense. A straight line of more then 7 kilometres.

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    La Défense

    by Pieter11 Updated Sep 5, 2005

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    La D��fense

    At the end of WW I the idea was thought out to develop the line on which the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomph stand on. There had to come a Triumphal Way all the way from the city centre to the La Défense area. Here had to come the impressive endpoint of the line.

    The name La Défense originally comes from a monument called `La Défense de Paris´ that was erected in this area at the end of the war of 1870.

    In 1951 there was made the decision that La Défense had to be a business centre. All original plans of low buildings or buildings of same sizes were thrown away. Companies wanted to build higher towers and wanted to be different from eachother. That resulted in the 200 meters high GAN-tower and a lot more concrete monsters.

    Today La Défense is a nice environment to check out modern architecture. The further you go towards the back of La Défense (towards la Grande Arche) the better the building become. And the quarter is also a nice site to see modern art. Lots of small and huge statues are placed here, and give a nice colourfull contrast towards the office buildings.

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  • raphaellecrevet's Profile Photo

    La Grande Arche de la Défense

    by raphaellecrevet Written Apr 17, 2005

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    If you intended to go go to La Défense, if you like modern architecture, don't bother paying to go to the top of the Arch, as this is a business area with high towers which really block the view to paris, so not interesting to pay and only see the Arch of Triumph from up there, and nothing else...

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  • sachara's Profile Photo

    La Grande Arche

    by sachara Updated Mar 28, 2005

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    La Defense, La Grande Arche
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    The Grande Arche, completed in 1989, is the most striking structure in la Defense. You cannot miss this new landmark ! The cube-like Grande Arche measures 110M along each side. The Notre Dame fits in its open central part.

    The Grande Arche, designed by the Danish architect von Sprekelsen, is made of granite, marble and a lot of glass all around. It houses all kind of business and governmental offices. At the inside of the structure you can see the transparent elevators. You can go up to the 35th floor. I will do this the next time.

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  • el_ruso's Profile Photo

    Downtown Panorama

    by el_ruso Updated Mar 2, 2005

    This site is amazing: a downtown with all the traffic arteries hidden underneath. This oasis of modern architecture and calm is so ingeneously designed and so well executed that it has to be an eighth wonder of the world.

    This picture shows the end of the Avenue of Gran Armee that connects the Le Defense with the Triumph Arch and Champs Elysees.

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  • NC_Ziggy's Profile Photo

    Grande Arche- La Defense

    by NC_Ziggy Updated Feb 23, 2005

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    Grande Arche- La Defense... a pedestrian dream!

    This is the more modern adaptation of the Arche de Triumphe and is in alignment with the previous. It was designed to commend those who fought in war after World War II. I apologize for the quality of the picture, but it is due to the primitive ability of my scanner. Still, I hope you get the scope and majesty of how Paris provides such wide, beautiful pedestrian venues where real estate values must be astronomical Still, it is a good investment as Paris is a unique city of destination and your views are reimbursed by the cost!

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  • LanaFromRiga's Profile Photo

    Monuments in La Defence

    by LanaFromRiga Written Jan 23, 2005

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    Monument in La Defence

    You can’t miss monuments between buildings of La Defence. Many of these monuments are very popular in all over the world and you can see their reproductions in books and catalogues of modern art history.

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  • easyoar's Profile Photo

    La Defense - the Parisien business district

    by easyoar Updated Dec 27, 2004

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    La Defense meets Jean Miro

    So why I hear you say, am I suggesting you go and visit a business district in Paris?

    The best answer I can give is that it is like a modern open air museum. The architecture of the buildings is absolutely stunning. They are intermingled with sculptures. And to cap it all off, a new Arche was built in 1989 "La Grande Arche". If you like architecture, you have to come here.

    The picture shows La Grande Arche on the right hand side and a sculpture by the famous Spanish (or Catalan - a region in Spain) artist Jean Miro. If you like his art, he has a very impressive foundation in Barcelona (Spain), which although I am not a particularly arty person, I thoroughly enjoyed.

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    The Huge Thumb at La Defense

    by easyoar Written Nov 20, 2004

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    The Huge Thumb at La Defense

    I'm not quite sure what this thumb is supposed to symbolise. But is is huge, and a fairly intesrting art piece. You see some people taking some very cheesy pictures of people with their thumb extended (sorry I couldn't bring myself to post one here...).

    This sculpture can be found in La Defense which is the business park in Paris. This park is worth visiting for several reasons, and is one of my favourite 'unusual' parts of Paris.

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  • xiquinho's Profile Photo

    Arche de la Defense

    by xiquinho Updated Oct 23, 2004
    Arche de la Defense

    Six kilometres out from the Arc de Triomphe at the far end of the Voie Triomphale, has put La Défense high on the list of places to which Paris visitors must pay homage. Created by a Danish architect, Johan-Otto von Spreckelson who won a competition called by the President Mitterrand, this hollowed-out cube, weighing 300,000 tons, 110m high and 70 meters wide (The whole of Notre-Dame cathedral would fit in its frame), was entitled "La Grande Arche". This monument, dedicated to Fraternity, is built of concrete with a facing of Carrara marble and grey granite. On the esplanade are works by Takis, fountains, luminous signals and statues by Mirò. Various ministries have their offices in the massive supporting pillars, the human rights commission (Fondation des Droits de l'Homme) and major corporations have their office there. The Arche also includes a large exhibition hall.

    Seated up above on the terrace one can admire the impeccable success of its perspective, whose lines can be followed to the Arc de Triomphe, along the Champs-Élysées to the obelisk on Place de la Concorde, over the Tuileries gardens to the Louvre's Cour Carrée, assuming that the weather is clear and the air free of polluting fumes.

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  • xiquinho's Profile Photo

    La Défense

    by xiquinho Updated Oct 23, 2004
    La D��fense

    "La Defense", whose lines can be followed to the Arc de Triomphe, along the Champs-Élysées to the obelisk on Place de la Concorde, over the Tuileries gardens to the Louvre's Cour Carrée, assuming that the weather is clear and the air free of polluting tumes.

    This new business district is in the form of a group of towers more than 30 storeys high, which can be seen for several miles. A kiosk on the ground floor provides information on each of these Defense's ultra-modern architectural gems. From every last minute detail, the designers have paid attention to the surtace decoration, and have not ignored modern artists either. Sculptures, mosaics and fountains keep the eyes busy and break up the monotony.

    This business district is like a futuristic universe where form and content meet in beauty : Active and lively during the day, deathly silent at night. Not just office buildings, but a variety of things to see. Besides the different international trade fairs, exhibitions, concerts or theatrical performances that take place in the CNIT or on the roof of the Arche, you can find a wide variety of restaurants, stores, and outdoor shows. And, for several years, on June 21st, the official Holiday of Music "Fête de la Musique", La Défense hosts a great music festival that includes all sorts of side shows using light and water.

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