Grande Arche de la Défense

The huge Grand Arche de la Defense is designed as a modern version of the Arc de Triomphe

Floodlights bath the Grande Arche de la Défense as dusk settles over Paris
Floodlights bath the Grande Arche de la Défense as dusk settles over Paris cc licensed photo by alpha du centaure

La Grand Arche de la Defense is found in the business district of La Defense in the commune of Puteaux, just west of Paris. It is also called the Grand Arche de la Fraternite or simply as La Grand Arche.

The Grande Arche de la Défense or simply Grand Arch is designed as a modern version of the Arc de Triomphe, only dedicated to humanity and humanitarian ideals rather than the military victories the Arc de Triomphe represents. It was designed by a Danish architect, Johann Otto von Spreckelsen, and a Danish engineer, Erik Reitzel. All architectural responsibilities were awarded to Paul Andreu when Spreckelsen resigned in 1986.

The Grande Arche de la Défense does not stand on its own. It is the end of a line of monuments that runs through Paris known as the Axe historique. It also forms a secondary line with the Eiffel Tower and the Tour Montparnasse, the two highest buildings in Paris.

It is approximately a cube with a width of 108m, a height of 110m and a depth of 112m — a massive structure when seen up close. It is angled at 6.33 degrees, an angle that is similar to the angle of the Louvre which forms the other end of the Axe historique. This angle was made necessary as a result of the various public transport systems that run below it. It was the only way that an adequate foundation could be laid. The Grand Arche de la Defense is made from a pre-stressed concrete frame that has been covered in glass and Carrara marble.

The Grand Arche de la Defense is not only a tourist attraction. It additionally houses some government offices on two of its sides.

It is worth noting that it is possible to see the Arc de Triomphe from the Grand Arche de la Defense on a clear day. This is definitely a sight worth seeing if you have the time. You will not be able to access the roof however since access was closed to the public following an accident in the elevators to the roof in April 2010. Despite this, the Grand Arche de la Defense is definitely worth taking a look at.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes

Open Now: Yes! Some attractions may restrict entry prior to their closing time.

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Address: 1 Parvis de la Défense, 92044 Puteaux, France

Official Website: Grande Arche de la Défense

Directions

Metro / RER / Tram Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M1 or RER-A or T2La Défense‎0 minutes

How to get to Grande Arche de la Défense by Metro / RER / Tram

By Metro, RER-A or Tram: exit at La Défense Station and you are there.

Map & Instant Route Finder

Click&Go Map and Route Finder with public transit, walking, driving or cycling directions. Get up-to-the-minute transit times for your route.

Load Street View
Load Interactive Map
Finding Your Route - Please Wait

Reviews

Rated 4.2 out of 5

5 Star Rating What an amazing piece of architecture! We loved looking at, going to the top of it, and eating there. It is truly a Grande Arch

Wayne Barnes - 1 day ago

3 Star Rating The summit was underwhelming. Why not a 360° view ? Also the glass panels need to be at the very edge, not a few meters beyond... All this time renovating for this ? I am disappointed

Guilhem Vellut - 7 days ago

4 Star Rating Another interesting structure in Paris, it's on the list but not at the top of the list. The area around is commercial the Metro station is like a mall.

jay baker - 19 days ago

5 Star Rating A very apt name indeed. Stumbled across this place when exploring Nanterre and found a lot of people just sitting on the steps chilling away. Lot of options for food and drinks around with 2 shopping centres right on its doorstep.

David Chan - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating I love the way Grand Arche parallels with its historic relative. The space is beautiful - both the Grand Arche itself and the way it sweeps sky and clouds. The art in the surrounding area is part treasure trove treasure hunt.

Natasha Younger - 3 months ago

Video


This video homework project by a young lad does a great job describing the Arche de la Défense

Photo Gallery

Guarantee your spot on an exciting Paris Tour

Sightseeing in Paris
Visiting Paris?
Here's why we use Booking.com for our hotel bookings.
Best Selection
Daily Deals
Price Matching
Pay at the Hotel
24/7 Support
Partners:
Help us grow! Please Share
Try our Hotelfinder