The Tallest Buildings in France

The Champs-Élysées with La Défense in the background.
The Champs-Élysées with La Défense in the background.

The Eiffel Tower is probably the first structure that comes to mind whenever France is mentioned. However, France is home to other large structures, some of them ranking among the tallest buildings in the European Union. Among the top 20 tallest buildings in France, 18 are located in Paris with the other two being in Lyon and Marseille. The buildings located in Paris are concentrated in the La Défense business district. La Défense hosts 72 steel and glass buildings, 19 of which are skyscrapers.

The Tallest Buildings in France

Tour First

The Tour First is the tallest building in France second only to the Eiffel Tower. It is located in La Défense, Paris. This building was constructed for UAP insurance by Bouygues in 1974, and at that time it was only 522 ft tall. When UAP was purchased by AXA in 1996 the building was renamed Tour AXA. Between 2007 and 2011, large-scale renovations started on the tower. The building received a complete facelift that changed its exterior appearance and added to its height. The final product was a renovated tower of 738ft at roof height. When its spire is included, Tour First has a total height of 758ft and has a floor space of 933,310 sq ft. Together with the Italian Unicredit Tour in Milan, Tour First is the 9th tallest building in the European Union.

Tour Montparnasse

Tour Montparnasse stands at 689 feet tall. It is the tallest building in the Montparnasse area of Paris and the second tallest in the country. Until 2011, Tour Montparnasse was the tallest building in France, but following the renovations on Tour First, it fell back to second place. It is the 18th tallest building in the European Union. This tower was designed by architects Louis Hoym de Marien, Eugène Beaudouin and Urbain Cassan. The building’s façade is expected to receive a redesign by Nouvelle AOM after this company won a competition in September 2017 for the remodeling.

Tour Incity

The Tour Incity is the tallest building in the Greater Lyon area and ranks third-tallest in the country. The building was completed in 2015 in the La Part-Dieu business district. The Incity is also the 24th tallest building in the European Union, a position it shares with three other buildings in Germany and Spain that also stand at 656 feet tall.

Tour Majunga

Tour Majunga stands at 633 feet tall including its spire, ranking it as the fourth-tallest skyscraper in France. The Majunga is located in La Défense business district. This building also ranks 29th among the tallest buildings in the European Union. World-renowned architect Jean-Paul Viguier designed the building.

Other Tall Buildings

Tour Total, Tour Gan, and Tour T1 rank fifth, sixth and seventh respectively in the list of the tallest buildings in France. They are all located in the La Défense area of Paris. Tour Area and Tour Granite close the list of buildings with more than 600ft of height in France. There are approved constructions that are set to displace Tour First from its position at the top of the list. The Hermitage Plaza I and Hermitage Plaza II are expected to be completed in 2021 and will take the first rank with a height of 1,060ft. They will also be located in La Défense.

The Tallest Buildings in France

RankBuildingLocationHeight (m)
1Tour FirstParis231
2Tour MontparnasseParis210
3Tour IncityLyon202
4Tour Majunga Paris195
5Tour TotalParis190
6Tour GanParis187
7Tour T1Paris185
8Tour ArevaParis184
9Tour Granite Paris183
10Tour D2Paris171

More in World Facts