La Défense is a business district belonging to the metropolitan area of Paris called Paris aire urbaine. It is located in the department of Hauts-de-Seine (encompassing the municipalities of Nanterre, Courbevoie and Puteaux) and covers an area of 1400 hectares. It has a population of 20,000 inhabitants. The district was named after the statue of La Défense de Paris which commemorates the Parisian resistance during the Franco-Prussian War.
One of the most modern and impressive landmarks of the district is the Grande Arche, which was constructed as a 20th century version of the Arc de Triomphe. It is located at the western end of the Axe Historique (historical axis), which also includes the Champs-Elysées, the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe. This white 106-meter cube-shaped building was designed by the Danish architect Otto von Spreckelsen. It houses offices, but also allows visitors to take an elevator to the top and enjoy the panorama of Paris.
In the 1960s, Charles de Gaulle came up with an idea to concentrate skyscrapers in one single business district. Today, this district contains many of Paris' tallest buildings, including thirteen skyscrapers that are more than 150 metres tall. La Défense is the largest purpose-built business district in Europe similar to the Canary Wharf in London.
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|Geographical coordinates||48.8917580, 2.2384480|
|Address||92800 Puteaux, La Défense|
|Construction dates||1958 -|
|More information||official website|