La Defense is the biggest business district in Europe situated in Paris , France and it hosts no fewer than 1,500 corporate head offices, including those of 15 of the top 50 companies in the entire world . La Defense is mainly a business district including a large collection of modern high-rise office and residential buildings and hosts a population of only 25,000 permanent residents and 45,000 students . It took its name from the statue of the “Defence de Paris” , which was built in the memory of the soldiers who defended the city during the franco-prussian war .
The tallest buildings in Paris are situated here and each one tells a story of architectural trends that were fancy and in fashion at the times of its construction. The first buildings were built in Fifties and Sixties and there are not too tall (a maximum of 100 meters) but in the last decade two new generation of buildings were added . The whole district looks amazing , as you can see in the pictures .
60 modern sculptures and mouments are to be found in its 3 million sqm, among which the Grande Arche de la Défense, the Somnambule by Henri de Miller, Deux personnages fantastiques by Joan Miró and a lot others . The Grande Arche de la Défense was built at the initiative of former French president Mitterrand, who wanted a version worthy of the twentieth century Arc de Triomphe. However the design of Danish architect Otto van Spreckelsen looks more like a cube than a triumphal arch. IT has 106 yards and its sides are office spaces.
At the end of the neighborhood there is an esplanade called Parvis which is 120m long and 300m wide, bounded by Arche, the CNIT and mall Quatre Temps, which was the largest mall in Europe by the time it was built . Everywhere there are passages, suspended roadways, stairs, brasseries, a museum, information centers, wells and many fountains.
For efficiency homes have been sold in installments so that today the district has 20,000 inhabitants, cinemas 3D Dome, or reasonable restaurants, bistros. Within the district, only permitted access is pedestrian traffic . There are some underground routes and night buses to supply machines . Officials and tourists flow is provided by RER, metro, tram cars and several peripheral lines or underground huge parking in mall Quatre Temps.
La Defense currently hosts 75 towers( 14 skyscrapers of over 150m) where more than 180,000 employees work . There are approved plans for some new towers which will have heights of over 300m and 100 floors and they’re going to be functional by 2018 .
No matter how many days you will stay in Paris , La Defense is a must . I hope the pictures will give you a bit of the feeling that we had during our visit .