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December 10, 2010

Marché de Noël in La Défense

by soundlandscapes

LA DEFENSE, IN THE FAR WEST of Paris, is a high-rise business ghetto and home to many French and multi-national companies.  It is quite unlike any other area of Paris.

In early November each year on the Parvis of La Défense, in front of La Grande Arche, construction of the annual Christmas market begins.

With its wooden châlets selling almost everything you can think of, this Christmas market looks quite surreal against the landscape that is La Défense.

This year the market opened for business on 24th November and it lasts until 27th December.

Of course, the Marché de Noël in La Défense is not the only show in town.

The huge Christmas market in the Champs Elysées, with its rows of white châlets lining both sides of the avenue from the Rond Point all the way down to Place de la Concorde, is expected to host around 15 million visitors this year. Although the Marché de Noël in La Défense is much smaller, it is also more intimate and, since it is just two Metro stops from my quartier, I prefer it.

Of all the wide variety of things on sale, my favourites are the wonderful food stalls of which there are many.

As well as being rich in delicious food, the Marché de Noël in La Défense is also rich in sound and this group of South Americans are well-known street musicians in Paris.

They can be found playing on the streets and in the Metro – and they are also an annual feature of the Marché de Noël in La Défense.

Not the Christmas fare that some of us would expect – but delicious nevertheless.

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