Monday, 30 April 2007

La Defense Paris

The Giant
Originally uploaded by malias.

If there was a vote for the most ugly building in Europe I'm sure that the Montpanasse Tower would come very high up on the list (London's Centre Point would be in the top three too but that's another story).

It was built between 1969 and 1972 a monolithic mostrosity in the heart of Paris which so traumatised Parisians that skyscrappers were banned from the city soon afterwards and from then on Paris' business district was concentrated in La Defense a few kilometres west of the city.

La Defense is Europe's biggest purpose built business zone. Last week I decided to pay it a visit - the first time I've been there during working hours. It was a surprisingly pleasant place with its vast concourse without any cars surrounded by a clump of shiny skyscrappers piercing the skyline.

The day I went there seemed to be a great number of young Italian tourists at La Defense. However, If you're only in Paris for a few days, frankly, I wouldn't bother going. You're better off hanging around the left bank or wandering around the Marais but if you do find yourself in Paris for several months then go and have a look.

You might be pleasantly surprised.

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