La Défense is a major business district of Paris and quite unlikely to be an attraction for the typical tourist. I, on the other hand, was so intrigued by the area that I spent an entire afternoon there. A stark contrast to the historic buildings in central Paris, the modern architecture at La Défense was surprisingly a breath of fresh air to me.
At the heart of La Défense is the iconic La Grande Arche de la Défense. Designed by Danish architect Johan Otto von Spreckelsen, the striking 110-metre tall building resembles a cube with a hole in the middle. It was built in the late 1980s, supposedly to be a 20th century version of the Arc de Triomphe.
I was in awe of the Grande Arche. I couldn’t stop looking at it. That sort of explains why I spent such a long time at La Défense.