Cover Photo Credit © iStockphoto/Thurtell
Cover Photo Credit © iStockphoto/Thurtell

Railway stations in Paris: Gare Montparnasse

2 minutes to read

Situated on the Left Bank of the River Seine, the Gare Montparnasse is one of the biggest railway stations in Paris. Opened in 1840, this station was relocated in 1969, during the creation of the Montparnasse Tower, a 210-metre office skyscraper. A departure station for many high-speed trains going to the west and southwest of France and Spain, this railway station is also a place that houses the museum that commemorates Jean Moulin, a major figure of the French Resistance and Philippe Leclerc, a Marshal of France and the Liberation of Paris. In 1994, the Jardin Atlantique, a public garden was created on the roof that covers the station tracts and the platforms.

The Gare Montparnasse, Paris
The Gare Montparnasse, Paris
Gare Montparnasse, 17 Boulevard de Vaugirard, 75741 Paris, France

History

Opened in 1840 and rebuilt in 1952, the Gare Montparnasse has become famous after the derailment that happened in October 1895. The Granville-Paris Express train was several minutes late. The engine driver was trying to make up for the lost time, and the train entered the railway station too fast. Unfortunately, the train brake was defective. Instead of stopping, the train crossed the station, crashed through the wall and ended outside, on the square next to the Gare Montparnasse. Another important date in the history of this Parisian railway station happened during the World War II. On the 25 August 1944, the German General German Dietrich von Choltitz, a military governor of Paris; surrendered here to the Free French Forces. After the war, in the 1960s, the Gare Montparnasse was rebuilt, and at the same next to this railway station, the Montparnasse Tower, a new Parisian symbol was constructed.

Montparnasse Tower

Constructed from 1969 to 1973, the Tour Montparnasse (Montparnasse Tower) is a 210-metre high skyscraper (with 59 floors) occupied mainly by offices. Designed by architects Eugène Beaudouin, Urbain Cassan, and Louis Hoym de Marien, this tower is located just next to the Gare Montparnasse. The terrace on the top floor of the Tour Montparnasse is open to the public and offers a beautiful view over Paris. From this panoramic observatory, you can see and admire the most emblematic Parisian monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Notre-Dame, the George Pompidou Centre, etc. To the top of the Tour Montparnasse will take you the fastest lift in Europe, in only 38 seconds.  This tower became famous in 1995 when Alain Robert know as the “Spiderman”, a French urban climber, scaled the building’s exterior wall to the top without any protective equipment.   

The Tour Montparnasse, Paris
The Tour Montparnasse, Paris
33 Avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris, France

Cinema

The Gare Montparnasse is a railway station in Paris that was often used as decor for movie sets. "The Dinner game" ("Le Diner de Cons"), a French comedy from 1998 directed by Francis Veber, was partly filmed here, as well as “La Tour Montparnasse Infernale”, also a French comedy from 2001, directed by Charles Nemes and featuring Ramzy Bedia and Eric Judor. 


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The author

Sladjana Perkovic

Sladjana Perkovic

Hello, my name is Sladjana, a journalist and writer living in Paris, France. I write about French well hidden places, gastronomy and cultural events.

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