Impressions from La Defense. The district, its building commenced in 1958, is located at the westernmost extremity of the 10-kilometre-long Axe historique („historical axis“) of Paris, which starts at the Louvre in Central Paris and continues along the Champs-Élysées, well beyond the Arc de Triomphe along the Avenue de la Grande Armée before culminating at La Défense. La Défense is primarily a business district and hosts a population of 25,000 permanent residents and 45,000 students.