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Running in Courbevoie: between art and urban planning

At the gateway to Paris, Courbevoie is a lively town, best known for its La Défense district. The business district attracts nearly 8 million tourists every year, but Courbevoie is much more than that. With several monuments listed in France's general inventory of cultural heritage, a number of museums and a huge number of works of art, the town has a lot to offer. Discover Courbevoie with the three audio-guided tours available on the JOOKS app!

Vue du quartier de la Défense
View of the La Défense district

A small hamlet of fishermen and winegrowers in ancient times, Courbevoie developed in the Middle Ages and remained part of the parish of Colombes until the end of the 18th century. Its population doubled during the reign of Louis XV, when it was transformed into a garrison town. Although vine-growing remained an important activity until the end of the 19th century, the town turned resolutely towards industry thanks to the development of crafts, industry and the railroads. Although Courbevoie's historical heritage is modest, it bears witness to the city's past over the centuries.

Historical city

Despite its origins in the Gallo-Roman era and strong expansion in the Middle Ages, the town of Courbevoie retains no traces of these eras. The First and Second World Wars had a considerable impact on the town's heritage, as it was the target of numerous bombardments.

Le pavillon des Indes
The Indies pavilion

Nevertheless, Courbevoie is home to a number of heritage treasures that are well worth a visit. Among the most remarkable is the Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul church, built during the French Revolution and classified as a historic monument in 1971. Your walk will also take you to the heart of the Parc de Bécon, where you can discover the Musée Roybet Fould, which is in fact the former pavilion of Sweden and Norway, built for the 1878 Paris Universal Exhibition. At the other end of the park, you can admire the no less original Pavillon des Indes, also listed as a historic monument.

La Défense district

L'Arche de la Défense
The Arche de la Défense

Europe's leading business district and fourth worldwide, La Défense is a strategic location for the national economy. Laid out in the early 1960s, the district consists mainly of high-rise office buildings. The best-known of these buildings, and also the district's most emblematic, is undoubtedly the Grande Arche, which houses, in addition to offices, a restaurant and a panoramic terrace with a breathtaking view.

But La Défense is more than just a business district. It is also a university and training center of excellence, home to over 45,000 students. To ensure that tourists, students and employees alike enjoy the most pleasant surroundings, several hectares of green spaces have been laid out, along with children's playgrounds, sports areas and petanque courts. Numerous cultural events are also organized throughout the year to bring residents and visitors together: Christmas market, festivals, Telethon...

An open-air museum

In addition to its buildings, schools and green spaces, La Défense boasts a large number of permanent works of art scattered throughout the site, as well as inside the Quatre temps shopping center and in the RER station. The vast majority are contemporary works of art, and have been installed as part of a policy to make the district more attractive.

"Le Pouce" de l'artiste César
"Le Pouce" (The thumb) by artist César

Don't miss "La Défense de Paris", from which the district takes its name, or "Le Pouce", by French sculptor César Baldaccini. You can also admire a fragment of the Berlin Wall, testimony to the Cold War, which was acquired by the town of Courbevoie and installed in front of the Galerie de la Coupole in 1996.

Run, walk or ride with JOOKS, from the Esplanade de la Défense to the Musée Roybet Fould!

Find all of Courbevoie's routes in the JOOKS application.

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