It is named for a statue, La Défense de Paris, commemorating the defence of Paris in the Franco-Prussian War. The name of the area sometimes causes confusion with foreigners, who assume it has something to do with the military.
The image shows the plaza looking to the East (towards Paris). The first building on the left is the CNIT (Centre des nouvelles industries et technologies).|
At the western end is a large transport interchange, built around and over the railway station which predates the modern development. It includes a bus station, the terminus of the T1 tram line, a station on RER line A, and the terminus of Line 1 of the Paris Metro, "La Défense (Grande Arche)". Line 1 also has a station at the eastern end nearer to Paris, "Esplanade de La Défense".