Paris from Above – views from the Tour Montparnasse

After walking around and looking at all the beautiful buildings, Scotty and I headed to the Montparnasse Tower. As the day was clear and beautiful and there aren’t so many tourists around, we thought it would be the perfect time to check out the views. It was amazing. High puffy clouds cast moving shadows on the city creating interesting light patterns. And I was once again astounded by how many famous buildings call this city home. I mean, everywhere you looked, there was some world-famous building. Incredible.

This is our neighborhood. If you can see the Pantheon dome to the left we live a bit to the right of that.

The Louvre is enormous! As is Sacra Coeur.

The light was always shifting. You can see the Luxembourg Garden to the right.

Montparnasse Cemetery

Looking out toward La Defense...oh yeah, and the Tour Eiffel!


Place de Concord - can you see the giant Ferris Wheel?

Saint Sulpice and the Pompedou in the background. You can also see the old Samaritain building and if you're really sharp, you can see St. Chapelle.

Another of the Louvre - at this vantage point it is much easier to see how it was originally part of a fortified city wall!

Luxembourg Gardens and the Senat with Notre Dame in the background.

In the elevator going down.

So that’s Paris from 56 stories. Pretty amazing. We were pretty chilly up there in the wind, although the viewing platform is very very well designed. So we decided to check out Montparnasse cemetery. I get my Parisian cemeteries mixed up and thought we were going to see Oscar Wilde’s grave but we had to settle for Sartre and Simone de Beavoir.

Now, I knew these two were part of the whole cultural revolution in Paris and for some reason I hadn’t thought of the possibility of our lives overlapping. I mean, I read Sartre in college and for some reason when I read philosophy or political theory I usually assume that it was written a long time ago, unless its in the Atlantic or New York Times or Books and Culture. Anyway, I was totally thrown off when I saw the dates of death for Sartre and de Beauvoir. I mean, I was alive when they died. Not by much – probably just a few months in Sartre’s case – but nonetheless, alive. And that made me feel old. So it was probably fitting that we were walking through a graveyard. We did see some interesting grave décor.

This guy was obviously a wallflower when he was alive.

Remember. I've never really understood this sentiment in graveyards. Isn't that one of the benefits of death? Being able to fade into the far reaches of time.

Anyway, enough about mortality, we were off to get some falafel in the Marais.

The road on the Seine is closed on Sundays and fills with walkers, bikers, skaters, and families taking leisurely strolls.

I have to admit that this was the day I needed in Paris. Reentry from Edinburgh had been difficult. Especially when I discovered that my birthday gifts were still missing! They have yet to show up and one of them was a gorgeous leather purse. So sad. And I was just not too keen on being back here. So I was thankful for yesterday, both for its new views of the city and for its perception shift in my heart.

About Rebecca

Hi! After five years in Europe, I'm adjusting to life back in the US. I use this blog to record my adventures, post photos, organize recipes, and post about things that interest me.
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20 Responses to Paris from Above – views from the Tour Montparnasse

  1. Max Reynolds says:

    Great shots. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wonder views…… once again you don’t disappoint Becca!!! 🙂 (Can’t believe that your gifts STILL have not arrived?? – Crazy!!!) I don’t know why cemeteries are so fascinating… I love cemetery photos!!! Never tried it though!! 😉 Love you photos Becca… before I come to Paris again (one day….) I’m going to have to recap on all you posts…!!! 🙂 **

  3. Cassie says:

    I love the photo of the heads from below where everyone is crowded together. It’s wonderful.

  4. Zelmare says:

    I am soooooooo jealous! 🙂 Lovely photographs.

  5. realoves says:

    Beautiful shots of Paris, Bec. Thank you! It helps to orient me to Paris. Not having my geo-gifted husband with me on this trip is making me a bit nervous, but your photos help! So sorry about the lost birthday gifts. How sad.

  6. POP says:

    Fabulous shots on a fabulous day. You made the trip for me.
    I always wanted to go up that thing, but was never in the neighborhood.
    Sarte, isn’t he a bit over the top, with his dreary quotes and all?
    “To eat is to appropriate by destruction; it
    is at the same time to be filled up with a certain
    being…. When we eat we do not limit ourselves to
    *knowing* certain qualities of this being through
    taste; by tasting them we appropriate them. Taste
    is assimilation…. The synthetic intuition of
    food is in itself an assimilative destruction. It
    reveals to me the being which I am going to make
    my flesh. Henceforth, what I accept or what I
    reject with disgust is the very being of that
    It is not a matter of indifference whether we
    like oysters or clams, snails or shrimp, if only
    we know how to unravel the existential
    signification of these foods. Generally speaking
    there is no irreducible taste or inclination.
    They all represent a certain appropriate choice of
    To this I say, “Have another Bordeaux my friend!”
    . . . so maybe he meant to write “To drink . . .” rather than “To eat . . .” 😉

  7. Elisa says:

    I have never been to the Montparnasse area of Paris, now I feel as though I’ve almost been there. It sounds so interesting reading about it’s intellectual and artistic roots….although to be honest I would be first in line for the tower elevator!! Views so beautiful they almost make me dizzy. Beautiful post!

  8. Ah – gorgeous pics. I so badly wanted to visit Paris when I was in London recently. I am from South Africa, so the flights from here are pretty expensive. I didnt get around to taking the eurostar accross! After looking at your pics, I’m quite sad about that! But hopefully next time!

    • Rebecca says:

      I’m sure you’ll be back! And when you are, this is a must. I’ve lived in Paris for six months and visited numerous time and this was my first time up the Montparnasse Tower – there is just always so much to do in this crazy city!

  9. I did my Paris house-sitting just down the street from the Montparnasse Tower last autumn – loved the views from up there, it’s great at night too if you have the chance – perfect vantage point to see the Eiffel Tower sparking on the hour!

    • Rebecca says:

      It seemed like a fun neighborhood! I am looking forward to going up there at night…when it’s a bit warmer! Probably go with my family when they visit this May.

  10. nofootnotes says:

    Great photos! You’ve made me want to go back to Paris and see everything I’ve missed before.

  11. Pingback: Little thrills found in Paris and paris region | Prête-Moi Paris

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