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

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, 92800 Puteaux, France


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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Rated 4.2 out of 5Grande Arche de la Defense Star Rating

4 Star Rating It's worth going to La Defense to see it. It is right at the end of the pedestrian area right by the mall. the La defense Metro is right under it. Really good place.

Susan Wilburn - 1 day ago

4 Star Rating Paris celebrates the Northern Hemisphere's longest day with an incredible set of free concerts [over 250 on 21 June]... The Grand Arche extends these interesting, diverse, musical performances/celebrations for several weeks before and after 21 June. For many years I have made a point of being in Paris for 21 June as well as visiting the Arche for concerts and a picnic [having wine with your picnic is NOT prohibited]. The area around the grand Arche is a large business/office district. This Arche is also visibly and symbolically linked to the Arc de Triomphe. I hope that this Review has been helpful!!

Mark Doctoroff - 19 days ago

3 Star Rating It seems that the place is still under construction. Overall view is not so bad. Very modern and different from the classic Paris

Egor Popelyaev - 28 days ago

4 Star Rating This is the modern part of Paris. Everything here is 21st century. There is a mall, modern art and this large cube. The cube is interesting to look at. We couldn't go up inside it at the time because it was closed / under construction. I think you should check ahead of time before planning a stop out here. It is a distance from downtown Paris.

Ryan McCoppin - 2 months ago

5 Star Rating A pleasant surprise! The arch itself is very Impressive, and only 10 minutes from the city center. The area around is surprisingly vibrant and there is plenty to do. You have a lovely view from the stairs of the arch over the la defense area and the arc de triomphe. The tickets to the roof top of the arch (15 euro) are rather expensive so I didn't go up. If you have some time left on your Paris visit I would definitely recommend going here.

Jelle Zethof - 4 months ago


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

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