The Montparnasse Tower (Tour Montparnasse), built in 1973, was one of the first skyscrapers in Paris. A visit to the tower's observation deck is rewarded with a magnificent view over the city. Constructed from 1969 to 1972, it was the tallest skyscraper in France until 2011, when it was surpassed by the 231 m (758 ft) Tour First. The project started as a redevelopment scheme of the Montparnasse and Maine railway stations in 1958 and had strong support from the new government. The tower's simple architecture, large proportions and monolithic appearance have been often criticized for being out of place in Paris's urban landscape. Two years after its completion, the construction of skyscrapers in the city center was banned. All that having been said, it is a great place to see Paris from above, without the long lines at the Eiffel Tower. It stays open until 10:30 PM so you can see the lights. From the top of the Tour Montparnasse you can see the Eiffel Tower against the semicircular Palais de Chaillot and the Paris skyline as seen in the photo above.
The Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine is a museum of architecture located in the east wing of the Palais de Chaillot at Place du Trocadéro in Paris. The museum opened in 2007, combining existing and new collections. Its principal permanent exhibit is the Musée des Monuments Français (Museum of French Monuments), which contains three galleries:
- Galerie des Moulages – casts of French architecture from the 12th to 18th centuries.
- Galerie des Peintures Murales et des Vitraux (wall paintings and stained-glass windows), reproducing outstanding works from historic monuments.
- Galerie Moderne et Contemporaine – French and international architecture from 1850 to the present.
After we had finished at Cité, we were hungry and decided to get a bite to eat at Café du Trocadéro. This is part of my series on the six restaurants of the Place du Trocadéro. They include Le Wilson, Le Coq, Kléber, Pâtisserie Carette and Le Malakov. This is the only terrace with a direct view of the Eiffel Tower. It is also the first in the shade when the sun goes down, you can't have everything I suppose. The Café du Trocadéro was featured in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. This is also the best spot to have a drink while you wait for the nightly Eiffel Tower light show. This got good reviews on TripAdvisor, 70% recommendation.