My Montparnasse tower, Paris of course!

So once again on a nice cool humid Tuesday , and still some time off will remember another icon of my eternal Paris. I know it very well having my last work office nearby and now my entry point almost every month to Paris for the last several years. I will tell a bit more on the Tour Montparnasse.


The Tour Montparnasse tower, also known as the Maine-Montparnasse tower, is the highest skyscraper in Paris, located in the Necker neighborhood (quartier) of the 15éme district (arrondissement) of Paris. Its height, 209 meters was inaugurated in 1973. It is on the axis of the Boulevard de Vaugirard, at the limit with the 14éme arrondissement and specifically the quartier or neighborhood of Montparnasse from which it takes its name. The location is more exactly pinpoint as it is on the axis of Boulevard Edgar-Quinet and with the 6éme district on the axis of Rue de Rennes. It is part of the extension of the axis created by the Palais de Chaillot, the Trocadéro, the Eiffel Tower, the Champ-de-Mars and the école militaire, in parallel with the historical axis. It has the Cedex 75 755 (post office box), and its official physical address is 33, avenue du Maine. However, it is also framed by the rue de Départ , rue de l’Arrivée , boulevard du Montparnasse and the place of 18-Juin-1940. It is separated from the Gare de Paris-Montparnasse by the place Raoul-Dautry. It is served by the Montparnasse-Bienvenüe metro station with lines 4, 6, 12 and 13 and by numerous bus lines such as the 28, 58, 82, 88, 89, 91, 92, 94, 95 and 96. It is my entry point into Paris almost every month for the last several years since living in Brittany.



A bit of history I like

In 1958, the first studies of the tower were well launched, but the project was strongly criticized because of the height of the building. However, the reconstruction of the Gare Montparnasse station a few hundred meters south of the old and the destruction of the station of Maine, which is included in the real estate project of the AOM (real estate managing company), joint agency that brings together the four architects ; the project was carried out in June 1966 to spring 1969. The decision to build a shopping center was finally made in 1969. The construction of the tower can now start. It is in April 1970 that the first stone is laid. The tower was inaugurated in 1973 on the site of the old Montparnasse railway station. The foundation of the tower consists of 56 pillars of reinforced concrete sinking to 70 meters underground. For urban planning purposes, the tower must be built just above a metro/subway line; and to avoid using the same support and weakening it, the structures of the metro/subway are protected by a reinforced concrete bodice. On the other hand, long horizontal beams are placed in order to allow to clear the necessary space in the basement to develop the tracks for trains.

In June 2016, an international architect competition “Montparnasse Tomorrow” is launched by the EITMM( city project architect consortium) in order to modernize and transform the tower by 2024. The project of 300 million euros, must be fully financed by the forty-one co-owners of the building; They must start in 2019 to finish in 2023. The project chosen aims to make the skyscraper bright and transparent in contrast to its present dark and austere façade, much decried, and to add several green spaces to rearrange its forecourt and to add a greenhouse of 18 meters high, Carrying the skyscraper at 229 meters in height. The tower should also consume ten times less energy. The building will thus be partially self-contained in energy, thanks in particular to a double skin façade, to the rainwater recovery system on the overflow and mirrors. The 40 000 m2 of the old dark mirrors will be re-used, such as signs for example, and partially recycled in furniture.

Description of the tower at best by the amateur yours truly

The tower has 7 200 windows for 40 000 m2 of facade. It weighs 130 000 tons, has 6 underground levels and 58 floors of 1 700 m2 on average each, all topped by a rooftop terrace. With 30 000 m2 of shops and 100 000 m2 of offices (representing 12 to 13 000 offices), the Montparnasse Tower is the first European real estate complex. In addition to its five cargo elevators/lifts, the building has 25 elevators/lifts, each serving only a group of floors. The fastest is the one that connects the ground floor to the 56th floor without a stop, at an altitude of 196 meters, in only 38 seconds, which reached a speed of 6 m/s, or 22 kph, but reduced to 5 m/s (1.5 floor/s) since 2009 , with a more gradual acceleration. The 56th floor, equipped with a panoramic bar and restaurant, as well as the 59th floor terrace, which can only be reached by stairs, are accessible to tourists, allowing to enjoy an interesting view of Paris at 360 °.



It also includes two smaller towers:

Building C: 12 floors. Often referred to as the acronym CIT (for the International Textile Center) because, being divided into small open areas on the traffic corridors, it had been thought to accommodate the show rooms and showcases of textile traders; But the latter gradually left the tower at the end of the 1970’s, and the exhibition surfaces were replaced in 1999 by more standard offices; and the Express tower or building D, along the rue de l’Arrivée. At the base of the ensemble is a shopping center ,Montparnasse Rive gauche with, among other brands, the department store Galeries Lafayette Montparnasse. The different elements of this set are interdependent, connected to each other in the basement.

The open space for the public, called the Panoramic Observatory of the Montparnasse Tower, belongs to the company Montparnasse 56 which manages the visits. The Observatory offers a panorama of all Paris. This unique viewpoint overlooking Paris is located at 200 meters above sea level and offers a view to 360 ° on the capital up to 40 km away day and night when the weather conditions are favorable. In particular it is possible to see the planes take off from Orly Airport at more than 13.5 km away.

The site offers two levels of visit:

The 56th floor, covered, with numerous facilities to better understand the city and its history: kiosks and interactive panoramas, exhibition of historical photos of Paris. This level also offers a bar and a souvenir shop.

The open-air terrace of 800 m2 (59th floor) has been designed to make the most of the breathtaking view of Paris via large glass windows. A champagne bar is open in the Summer.

In 1972, The last Tango in Paris (Le Dernier Tango à Paris ), film by Bernardo Bertolucci, with Marlon Brandon and Maria Schneider shows the tower under construction in the middle of old Paris. And the reason first ever visit Paris by yours truly and the part of the name of my blog today!!! Fyi.

I rather put all the information webpages here to help you plan your trip here, and it is a must to do in Paris

Official tour Montparnasse 56

Tourist office of Paris on the Tour Montparnasse

The visit and views from the Tour Montparnasse

The wonderful restaurant Ciel de Paris

This is indeed another icon of Paris, why we all come and some stay. Paris is a mouvable feast said one, and I say France is a mouvable feast!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: , ,

4 Comments to “My Montparnasse tower, Paris of course!”

  1. How interesting! Love your detailed posts on buildings/squares/monuments in Paris.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the history. Is the construction on the train station complete yet?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: