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

Grande Arche de la Défense Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • 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 Parv. de la Défense, 92800 Puteaux, France

Grande Arche de la Défense Reviews

Rated 4.4 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating It’s a new touristy objects in the La Defense area of Paris city. Located near the Esplanade de La Defense which is huge and spacious public space and businesses center. It’s a giant square building with an iconic architecture design of dome, very eye catching and unique. You’ll find it very interesting and beautiful. Especially when you visit during the sunset moment, and it’ll be also illuminated by the city lights from the skyscrapers building surrounding it.
Putri Dumadi - a month ago

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5 Star Rating Wow what a view! It really is a wonderful structure to see when coming out of the metro and the juxtaposition of the new arch with the historic one way in the sweeping distance is very impressive. The area is a bit sterile otherwise but again this plays with the beauty of Paris. Get on the metro and spend an hour or so here to enjoy the views and modernness of it.
Caïna Verrin - a month ago

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5 Star Rating Excelent location, great piece of work, not only with the arch but with all the surrounding buildings. It has a great view of the esplanada de la defense till the Arch of Triumf from the Place Charle de Gaule
Cata - 4 months ago

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5 Star Rating Beautiful area with modern buildings, with large malls for shopping and food court area around . The esplanade area is spacious and grand , you can sit there people watching for hours. Very accessible by metro lines located in modern business part of Paris. The views are great from its stairs .
Sharada Dilip Acharya - 9 months ago

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5 Star Rating Great place with huge buildings, shoping malls and people everywhere! Some places were under construction, but there was enough other places to walk around. The popular "attraction" is to eat or to drink sitting on stairs in front of Grande Arche.
Konstantin Kandaurov - 7 months ago

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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.

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