Paris Sights

La Défense

  • Neighborhood/Street

Published 06/25/2015

Fodor's Review

First conceived in 1958, this Modernist suburb just west of Paris was inspired by Le Corbusier's dream of high-rise buildings, pedestrian walkways, and sunken vehicle circulation. Built as an experiment to keep high-rises out of the historic downtown, the Parisian business hub has survived economic uncertainty to become the city's prime financial district. Visiting La Défense gives you a crash course in contemporary skyscraper evolution, from the solid blocks of the 1960s and '70s to the curvy fins of the '90s and beyond. Today 20,000 people live in the suburb, but 180,000 people work here, and many more come to shop in its enormous mall. Arriving via métro Line 1, you'll get a view of the Seine, then emerge at a pedestrian plaza studded with some great public art, including César's giant thumb, Joan Miró's colorful figures, and one of Calder's great red "stabiles." The Grande Arche de La Défense dominates the area: it was designed as a controversial closure to the historic axis

of Paris (an imaginary line that runs through the Arc de Triomphe, the Arc du Carrousel, and the Louvre Pyramide). Glass-bubble elevators in a metal-frame tower whisk you a heart-jolting 360 feet to the viewing platform. At the end of June, La Defense hosts an annual weeklong jazz festival with free concerts and events; click www.ladefense.fr and follow the links to the festival for further information.

Read More

Sight Information

Address:

Parvis de La Défense, Paris, 92800, France

Phone:

/01–46–93–19–00

Sight Details:

  • Grande Arche €10
  • Apr.–Aug., daily 10–8; Sept.–Mar., daily 10–7

Published 06/25/2015

Advertisement

What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in Paris

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?

Experience

Ease

Value

Don't Miss

No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE email communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.