The district takes its name from the statue called “La Defense de Paris”, erected for the glory of the soldiers who defended Paris during the French-German war of 1870. The bronze sculpture from Louis-Ernest Barrias, inaugurated in 1883 at the Courbevoie roundabout is still at its original location although the Courbevoie roundabout does not exist anymore.
The Centre of New Industries and Technologies (CNIT) designed by the Architects Robert Camelot, Jean de Mailly and Bernard Zehrfuss, was inaugurated in 1958 by the General de Gaulle for Les Floralies exposition.
In 1966, the Nobel Tower (by the architect Jean de Mailly) was the first tower to be build at La Defense. Les Quatre Temps - the biggest shopping European mall at the time (100 000 square meters) was built in 1981.
Today, La Defense is the number one business district in Europe by the number of offices. It is located in the department of Hauts-de-Seine, the territory of Puteaux, Courbevoie and Nanterre, in the continuation of the historical Parisian axis starting at the Louvre Museum, continuing to the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe and further to the Pont de Neuilly and the Grand Arche.
The district stretches out on a wide pedestrian concrete slab of 31 acres above the ground. The public space of the courtyard is also made of a suspended garden and water feature and around 60 pieces of art making La Defense an outdoor museum.
La Defense was classified in 2009 as “Zone Touristique” (tourism area), allowing cultural, sport or leisure business to be open on Sunday.
To know more about La Defense, visit : http://www.ladefense.fr