The Tour de la Babote is a relic of the old 12th-century fortifications around L’Ecusson, Montpellier's historical centre, and has been listed as a historical monument since 1927.
In 1740, the States of Languedoc agreed to build an observatory on the foundations of one of the rampart towers. The Tour de la Babote became an observatory in 1745 and was taken over by the Académie des Sciences, then the Société Royale des Sciences.
Truth or legend: on 26 December 1783, a certain Sébastien Lenormand, inventor of the parachute, tested his invention by throwing himself off the building.
In 1832 the Tour de la Babote was taken over by the telegraph department.
Today, the premises are occupied by the Fédération d’Astronomie Populaire Amateur du Midi (South of France Amateur Astronomy Federation).