La Defense is the major business district of Paris and it is also considered as the metropolitan area or the Paris aire urbaine, which is home to the tallest buildings and high-rises in the city.
Skyscrapers of La Defense
This metropolitan area in Paris measures 77.5 acres, with 72 buildings made of glass and steel, as well as 14 high-rises that measures more than 150 meters. The usual number of people working daily in the central business district of Paris is 180,000 workers in a 3.5-million square meters of office space. This metropolitan area in Paris is also the largest built business district in Europe. Moreover, one of the most contemporary monuments in Paris, the Grande Arche, can be found in this business district.
Grande Arche de la Defense vista
The La Defense is divided into 12 sectors; with 20,000 permanent residents; 150,000 employees; 1,500 businesses; and 2,600 hotel rooms. The area also has 60 modern art sculptures and monuments; 110,000 square meters or greenery; 310,000 square meters of flagstone and sidewalk; and 210,000 square meters of shops, including the 120,000 square meters of Quatre Temps Shopping Mall in Paris which is the largest in Continental Europe.
Based on the most recent count, there are 230 stores, 40 restaurants, and 16 movie theatres inside Quatre Temps, which is also known as Les 4 Temps.
The La Defense is also circled by an orbital highway in Paris that encompasses the Hauts-de-Seine department municipalities of Nanterre, Courbevoie, and Puteaux. It is also at the western end of the Grand Axis formed by the Champs-Elysees, the Place de la Concorde, and the Arc de Triomphe.
The Grande Arche de la Defense
One of the notable monuments and buildings in here is the Grande Arche de la Defense which has an approximate shape of a cube measuring 108 meters in width, 110 meters in height, and 112 meters of depth. The Grande Arche de la Defense is composed of a prestressed concrete frame covered with glass and Carrara marble from Italy.
As for the design, it was observed that the Grande Arche de la Defense in Paris is like a hypercube or a tersseract that is projected into three-dimensions. The Grande Arche de la Defense is made out of 3,600 prefabricated cases, individually measured as 2.8 square meters, and 800 grams in weight. Underground in Paris, there are twelve 30-m tall pillars that support the structure.
A trip to the top of the Grande Arche de la Defense on the 35th floor will show you the Musee de I’Informatique, a souvenir shop, and some restaurants. Moreover, from the roof terrace of Grande Arche de la Defense offers the whole view of the Axe Historique in Paris which has begun in 1640 that was constructed by Andre Le Notre of Versailles.
La Defense behind Eiffel Tower
Tourists who are into technology and enjoy walking or driving around high-rises and skyscrapers would enjoy spending time in this metropolitan in Paris. It is also a good destination for those who would love to shop in the Les 4 Temps in Paris.
The metropolitan area of La Defense is in contrast with the classic feel of Paris per se and the tall sleek buildings made of glass and steels are the opposite of ancient buildings and structures in the heart of Paris. It could be said that the La Defense is the modern and contemporary part of Paris with its Grande Arche de la Defens and Les 4 Temps while across the Seine lays the traditional Paris with its Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, good old-fashioned wines, hundreds of art galleries, novelty shops, and other classic tourist attractions filled with rich history, art, and culture.