History of Montparnasse train station and its surroundings
The station of Montparnasse has seen 5 major changes of site since its creation in 1840. In 1837, La Compagnie de Chemin de Fer de Paris, Sèvres, Meudon et Versailles is in charge with the operation of the railroad from Paris to Versailles. The purpose of this operation was to extend the railway network in Ile-de-France region. The company, facing an increasingly intense traffic, must call on the state to carry out extension works.
As a result of this project, a new station was opened on Boulevard du Montparnasse. The viaduct of Maine is one of those responsible for extending this station. Realized by the engineer Alphonse Baude, this work required the demolition of the passenger buildings. The new buildings of the station are designed in neoclassical style, with the help of the architect Victor Lenoir and the engineer Alphonse Baude. This work will require several land fillings. This station will remain in service until the 1960s.
In the meantime, the period between the two wars will be beneficial for the station, which will benefit from the growth of the railway companies and the extension of the tracks during a new phase of expansion. Thus, from 1923, the station of Maine departures is arranged to accommodate the main lines while the suburban trains leave the old station. The annexes Maine arrivals and Maine departures will be chosen to accommodate the new station built by the SNCF. This choice will be the result of a new urban development project that will see the construction of the Montparnasse tower at the site of the former station.
10 years after its entry into service, the station was welcoming 1,400,000 passengers, 80% of them on trips from the Paris suburbs. The station of Montparnasse had to assure sideboard of Brittany, which was the case until 1960. In the 1960s, the station was the object of urban development projects, including modifications to the tower of Montparnasse and the surrounding buildings.
This new station will be part of a complex of offices and housing, signed by architects Baudoin, Cassan de Marien, Lopez, Saubot. This station no longer has the features of a station, consecutively to the total overhaul of the interior space with in particular an internal architecture in concrete and a slab covering a large part of the tracks. The station will again be subject to renovations in 1989, in order to accommodate the TGV.
Inaugurated in 1990 on the occasion of the commissioning of the TGV Atlantique, the new interior of the station will be distinguished by a modernist architecture, a glass facade that allows to recognize the station has its style. The parking lot is located under the Atlantic Garden. On 29 June 2004, Montparnasse station received the NF service certification, awarded by Afnor.
Tourist attractions near Montparnasse train station
Montparnasse is a touristic spot, especially thanks to the existence of gardens of green plants located above the station. Here is a selection of the most appreciated tourist attractions located near the station.
La Cité des Arts (City of Arts)
Located 21 avenue du Maine, La Cité des Arts is a verdant space that, in the last century, was inhabited by artists having their workshops on this alley. Among these artists we will cite Picasso, Braque, Modigliani, Matisse. During the First World War, this space will accommodate the artists lacking in means. This place fitted out in an island of greenery just a step from the Montparnasse Tower and just a step from the station, also shelters a mini-museum dedicated in to the main lines of the history of the Montparnasse district. This destination is not to be missed if you have time to visit the station of Montparnasse.
The Montparnasse cemetery
The atmosphere in the Montparnasse cemetery is unpreceded. The neighborhood is used to the silences of meditations. Great French names rest in the cemetery of Montparnasse: Baudelaire, Serge Gainsbourg and Simone de Beauvoir, to name a few.
The Atlantic Garden
Le Jardin Atlantique will be in your reach via several accesses, especially from the Catalogne square. It is a destination not to be missed if you have time to spend before taking your train. This green space on the roof of the Gare Montparnasse is an ensemble consisting of a large central lawn lined with trees of all varieties. Note that the roof of the station also hosts sports facilities including tennis courts and weight training equipment.
Hotels with refurbished rooms, garden and private parking
Located 500 meters from Montparnasse train station, this hotel welcomes you in its recently refurbished rooms with antique furniture combining wood and parquet floors in a setting with authentic charm. The hotel is located 30 minutes from the Eiffel Tower and a few minutes’ walk from the Luxembourg Gardens.
Hôtel Le Chaplain
This 3-star hotel is a 15-minute walk from Montparnasse Train Station and offers a garden, private parking and a library.
Transfer by car from Paris center to Montparnasse train station
To reach Montparnasse train station from the center of the capital, take Avenue Victoria, then follow Saint-Martin street and continue for 70 m. Then, continue straight ahead before reaching the bridge Notre-Dame and continue straight on Rue de la Cité. The journey will lead to the Place du Petit Pont before turning right into Rue Soufflot. The journey will continue straight towards Place Edmond Rostand before turning left into rue de Médicis, where you will have to continue for 100 m before reaching the Boulevard Saint-Michel.
Arriving on the “Avenue de l'Observatoire”, you will have to go straight on and follow the “avenue de l'Observatoire”. Then turn right on Boulevard du Montparnasse and continue straight on Place du 18 Juin 1940 on 3, 6 km. You will have to turn left on Arrival Street for 300 m before continuing straight on the Boulevard de Vaugirard. Turn left onto Boulevard de Vaugirard and continue for 100 m to reach the pedestrian area of the Montparnasse train station.