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La Tour Montparnasse at sunset

Ask any Parisian what they think of the Tour Montparnasse and prepare for a cascade of criticism.

“It’s the ugliest building in Paris”

“It is completely out of place in Paris’ urban landscape”

And the ultimately Parisian:

 The view from the top is the most beautiful in Paris, because it is the only place from which the tower itself cannot be seen

Denounced by some as “bringing Manhattan to Paris”, the skyscraper was the tallest building in Europe at time of its construction (1972).

Despite that, the tower’s architecture and monolithic appearance have been often scorned and  – as a result – two years after its completion, the construction of skyscrapers in the city centre was banned.

A curious event: In 1995, the French urban climber Alain “Spiderman” Robert scaled the scyscraper’s exterior wall (210m!) up to the top in 35 minutes. He used only his bare hands and feet with no safety devices whatsoever and almost fell in the process!

View from the Tour Monparnasse at night; Picture by Wikipedia

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