Grand Arche de la Défense


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Stairs at base of Arche  de

Side:  Arche  de
la Défense

Arche  de
la Défense

View of Esplanade de la  Défense

View of Esplanade de la  Défense

Photo Exhibit atop arch:

Cegetel Building and The Thumb, César 

Esplanade de la  Défense
Elysée la Defense
School of Defense

Located just beyond the city limits, on the other side of the Seine from the 17th arrondissement, the Grande Arche de La Défense anchors the eastern end of the historic axis that stretches from the Louvre down the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe.

One of the Grands Projets (Mitterrand’s 15 billion franc program to provide a series of modern monuments to symbolize France’s central role in art, politics, and world economy at the end of the twentieth century), the modern triumphal arch is actually a 35-story office building—a monument to capitalism? The area surrounding La Défense is home to modern office towers housing 14 of France’s top 20 corporations.

Von Spreckelsen’s scheme was chosen by Mitterrand in an international competition for its 'purity and strength'.  Von Spreckelsen backed out of the project before its completion, reportedly disheartened by red tape and having grown displeased with his own design.  He died before its completion.




Outside Trips