Friday, 2 December 2016

La Défense

 via wiki
Looking from the Arc de Triomphe along the Champs-Elysées in a westerly direction La Grande Arche de la Défense is clearly visible from the city 
The Grande Arche and esplanade stand at the heart of La Défense which is Europe's largest built business district filled with acres of glass and steel buildings.

Charles de Gaulle was responsible for leading an effort to level this area and concentrate skyscrappers in a single district rather than altering the character of downtown Paris by filling it with large commercial properties.

Each of the buildings tells a story about the architectural trends that were in vogue at the time of their construction. La Défense now gives us an interesting overview of this most recent period in our history of architecture

La Défense is considered a good and very much cheaper option for a place to stay in Paris. It has wonderful views across Paris which are particularly dramatic at night - there are lots of very good quality restaurants selling food from around the globe - a huge shopping mall - cinema - museum - church; it also has excellent quick train links that will whisk you straight into the city center, easily take you out to the interesting suburbs of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, or even take you for a day out to Versailles

37 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary, I agree with you about the convenience, and overall for a modern-skyscraper area it's not too terrible, but for my first visit to Paris I would prefer a more traditional atmosphere.

    On the plus side, your photography skills are wonderful--they certainly enhance the modern vibe that these buildings have to offer.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - I have seen La Défense in the distance at several locations around Paris, and passed regularly through its Metro station, but this is the first time that I have visited.
      Yes, if it is a first visit to Paris then a traditional, atmospheric hotel would most likely suit best. However, should you be on a return visit this is a perfectly acceptable alternative - everythings is so readily close at hand

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  2. The French were wise to concentrate the skyscrapers away from the historical centre of Paris. Your photos are magnificent!

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    1. You are right Debra - I think that Charles de Gaulle was a visionary to keep all of the new out of Paris - it is a pity that more cities have not followed this example.

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  3. I don't think I've ever seen pictures of this part of Paris before. Some of the architecture is stunning, some make me dizzy

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    1. I found it an interesting place to photograph - I am normally such a traditionalist

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  4. Brilliant idea to concentrate high rise and modern structures in one place. I'm glad that I don't have to live or work in all that maze of glass. It would make me dizzy.
    Great photographs Rosemary and thank you for showing us another dimension of Paris.

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    1. You like me have probably spotted La Défense on the skyeline when visiting Paris Gina - it has taken me a long time to get around to visiting it. I remember one of my friend's daughters was studying architecture, and La Défense was the first place that she wanted to visit when she arrived in Paris.

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  5. La Défense has developed so much throughout the years , I can hardly recognize it !

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    1. I was only family with the arch on the horizon previously

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  6. As glass and steel kingdoms go that one has some style to it. I'm just back from a similar photo tour in my own city and they do seem pretty soulless places to work in, although new and clean. Trouble is they all look the same after a while in every city with the poor office workers huddled into a sterile tiny oasis in the middle somewhere for breaks away from the desks but usually surrounded and dominated by tall buildings and a small square of open sky above if they are very lucky to remind them there's another, different life outside. That was my impression of it anyway. Paris may be different.

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    1. The good thing about this area is that it is not souless - there is plenty going on outside the working environment, little huts selling ethnic food and goods, and even a Christmas market. It was full of tourists too in the shopping mall.

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  7. So many windows and many reflections always good to view.

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    1. I don't think that I have the opportunity before to photograph so much glass and steel Margaret.

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  8. Beautiful photos. I'd never considered staying there when visiting Paris but I will in future. I visited many years ago and loved the architecture. B x

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    1. Thank you for visiting and your kind comment

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  9. Thank you for showing us another aspect of Paris, Rosemary. Modern buildings reflect beauty in geometric simplicity rather than ornate. In this district, the jungle of steel, concrete, and glass look existing exclusively. I applause comprehensive city planning of Paris.

    Yoko

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    1. Forward thinking by Charles de Gaulle has had the desired effect of protecting the center of Paris

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  10. Wonderful pictures, thank you, Rosemary - you have a very good eye for taking them! I love the reflections of things in the glass of skyscrapers (took a few in NY) - and you get those contrasting patterns so very well.

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    1. Thanks Britta - glad that you enjoyed seeing them

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  11. What a wonderful shapes and geometric patterns, so beautiful photos of glass buildings. And the reflections are amazing. I really really love them. And all in this post.
    Hugs

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    1. I don't normally take photos of contemporary architecture Orvokki but as you say the reflections can be amazing

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  12. You are correct, I have seen La Grande Arche from a distance and all of the skyscrapers beyond. I am so thankful that these modern buildings were not incorporated into the quaint Paris we all love. One of these days I am going to venture in that direction. So much to do...and so little time. Happy Christmas to you and your family Rosemary. Janey

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    1. Hope that you get the opportunity to return to Paris again one day Janey

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  13. La Defense isn't my kind of place at all, but it is fascinating to see it through your terrific selection of photos. I do applaud de Gaulle's intention to keep these away from 'historic' Paris

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    1. Contemporary architecture is not my choice either, although I must admit that I do like some of the houses I have seen on Grand Designs that compliment their surroundings

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  14. Hi Rosemary, I think it was a smart move of Charles de Gaulle to concentrate skyscrapers in a single district and thereby preserving the character of downtown Paris. And it is good that people who aren't that wealthy can find affordable accommodating there. Still the architecture is not for me, especially in comparison to the ultra beautiful and romantic architecture in the center of Paris.
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. You can't beat the architecture in the center of Paris and the grand boulevards can you? I suspect that in a working environment though these work better.

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  15. I too have only seen the arch in the distance, and not thought at all of visiting. But what a spectacular modern cityscape with those glittering glass towers, fascinating photographs.

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    1. It is worth a visit Patricia if you ever return to Paris

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  16. I love your photos! I've been to La Défence just once and that was on a rather chilly spring day more than a decade ago. This seems almost like a different place.

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    1. I think that it has expanded rapidly over the past decade Teresa - thank you for your kind comment

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  18. Hi Rosemary,

    Thank you for sharing another part of Paris and good to see the new part of the City.
    I enjoyed seeing your lovely photos - all the glass and reflection, lovely.
    Hope you are having a great week
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  19. I like the modern district of Paris. Theses after it was walking. Photos great. Regards.

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