garden tales from a Brit abroad
The tour Montparnasse is the only skyscraper in Paris. Whatever its architectural merit, its viewing terrace gives wonderful views over the capital. From above, you get a different sense of the scale of the cityscape – the green expanse of the parks and cemeteries, the proximity and juxtaposition of landmarks, the great scars of the railway lines.
In the foreground are views of the jardin Atlantique, a late twentieth century park, placed dramatically on top of the Montparnasse railway station.
Also adjacent is the 19th century Montparnasse cemetery, which seems surprisingly large viewed from above.
Slightly more distant, in the 6th arrondissement, is the lush, 17th century jardin du Luxembourg, with the iconic cemetery Père Lachaise (the city’s biggest green space), located in the 20th arrondissement, visible beyond.
To the west is the 101 metre high, golden dome of Les Invalides with its grand esplanade leading to the Seine.
And, of course, arguably the original ‘skyscraper’ in Paris, here’s la tour Eiffel straddling the half-mile long processional space of the Champs de Mars with, as backdrop, the business district at la Défense.