This is a part of Paris I had been meaning to go to for a stroll for quite some time.
La Défense is Paris’s business district, on the Western outskirts of the city.
La Défense houses many major companies and is the head of metro Line 1. La Grande Arche, as the French call it, was built in the late 1980′s. Apparently you can take a tour and go to the top of this fantastically unique building for a breathtaking view of Paris and its outskirts.
It’s pretty mind boggling, in my opinion. Have you been?
When my friend Theo was in town on his way from down under to London, we went for a stroll with my friend Valerie who had just moved to Paris.
The day was foggy and cold. The sky was so gray and constant.
Since we went before lunchtime hit, we had the space to ourselves, with no hustle bustle of the businessmen and women that shuffle to and from lunch around 1pm.
I never realized how much art is at La Défense. This red sculpture reminds me of a similar sculpture in Denver, right in front of the Denver Art Museum. Very well could be the same artist, but I’m certainly not a pro at that.
We felt far far away from Paris, in a modern world where the beige 6-story buildings didn’t stick and they were replaced by enormous fancy high rises.
With a little squint, you can see from under the arc of La Défense all the way through the Arc de Triomphe (above) and if the weather permits it, even beyond. This view is certainly the longest in Paris, what they called the Historical Axis, stretching from La Défense through l’Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre. It’s a straight line. If you don’t believe me, check out a map!
Pretty intense if you ask me.
You can read about the giant thumb sculpture here.
I was surprised so see so many bursts of color surrounding the modern gray high rises. I think when the weather gets nice I’d like to sit under the La Grande Arche with a sandwich and just enjoy the vast view.
You won’t feel like you’re in Paris when you go here. There’s something awkwardly intriguing about it.
Contrast at its finest.
If you’re interested in checking it out, just hop on line 1 and go to the end, the stop titled La Défense. You’ll feel super small in a big big world.