|This page is about Montparnasse, Quartier Luxembourg and
Quartier Latin. These three districts are situated in the same part of Paris,
south of River Seine.
The Luxembourg district, just east of Montparnasse, is a relaxed and exclusive
area in Paris consisting of the park Jardin de Luxembourg and elegant buildings.
Sculptures and Tour Montparnasse can here be seen from the park.
Quartier Latin, just between Luxembourg and Seine, is nice, bu a little bit overrated in my opinion. It is partly hilly and have cinemas, jazz clubs, cafées.
Panthéon is situated between Jardin de Luxembourg, Quartier Latin and Seine. This classic domed church, inspired by St Paul´s cathedral in London, was built at Ludvig XV:s commission to honour his own life after a bad disease. When the building was completed in 1790, it didn´t take long before the church was converted into a pantheon, a memorial for France´s great men and women. They are buried in the crypt beneath the building, that is divided in galleries, parted by dorian colons. In 1885, it was declared a communal building. I was inside, but never went down to the crypt as it was too expensive.
In this area Paris tallest skyscraper is situated. That is why it is mostly concentrated on this. Montparnasse is both modern and oldfashioned and features a large churchyard right next to Tour Montparnasse. The large brand of the famous department store Galeries Lafayette is also located here. There are many cafés in Montparnasse, and it used to be a big arts district.When it was starting to get dark (June 2006), we took the metro to Montparnasse to get up Tour Montparnasse.
Tour Montparnasse is France´s tallest building (since Eiffel Tower is a monument, not a building). It is 210m tall and has 59 floors. It was completed in 1972. It was the tallest building in Europe outside Russia between 1972, when it was completed, and 1990. As you can see, it has some red lights after dark.
Unfortunately we couldn't go up to the observation deck, because the woman in the reception told us that the weather was so bad up there, that we should not be able to see anything from the observation deck. Otherwise, this skyscraper is a good choice to the Eiffel Tower (if you already have been there of course) since there is almost no queue and it costs just about the half of the price to get up there. You can also see the whole Eiffel Tower, that you can't do from the Eiffel Tower of course. I was at the indoor observation deck on the 58th floor back in 2000 and on the observation deck on the roof during the day (see photos below).
There have been some problems with the tower: Many citizens of Paris hate it since they mean it doesn't fit in the landscape, that is bullshit in my opinion. I think it is a modern elegant glass building that is one of the few impressive skyscrapers within Paris city borders. In 2005, it was discovered that there was a lot of the dangerous material asbestos in the tower. Unfortunately the building must be empty for 3 years to remove all the asbestos. I hope that this wont make mayor decide to tear the building, that is one of Paris great landmarks, down.
Some weird nightclub in Montparnasse.
A TGV train at Gare Montparnasse, also called Gare TGV because of its many high speed trains. The TGV trains were one of the first high speed trains in the world. SNCF is the national rail operator and also operates the TGV trains. The train usually travels at 320km/h, but can go as fast as in 500km/h!
Some old photos of Tour Montparnasse from June 2000 (sorry about the low quality):