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Montparnasse

Montparnasse

Around 1920 the artists progressivly abandoned Montmartre to moved to Montparnasse, shifting the core of Paris's artistic and cultural life to the area around boulevard du Montparnasse. Picasso, Chagall, Modigliani, Miro, Kandinsky, Hemingway, Henry Miller and Cocteau as well as political exiles such as Trotsky & Lenin all hung out here at various times. Montpamasse remained an artistic center until the mid 30's. Since the construction of the massive new Gare Montparnasse as well as the addition of many fashionable cafes, bars, restaurant sand cinemas.
However, the area remains picturesque because of its lively atmosphere at night and of the monumental Montparnasse Tower, built in the 60s. It started as a redevelopment scheme of the Montparnasse and Maine railway stations in 1958 and had strong support from the new government. The tower itself was built between 1970 and 1973. During construction, the tower was very popular as it became a symbol of the new modern Paris. This changed however when the 211 meters tall Tour Montparnasse was completed. The 58 floors of the tower are mainly occupied by offices, while two floors are open to the public for viewing the city; the 56th floor with a restaurant, and the terrace on the top floor.
Its simple architecture, gigantic proportions and monolithic appearance have been often criticised for being out of place in Paris urban landscape and, as a result, two years after its completion the construction of skyscrapers in the city centre was banned.