Paris and Montparnasse !!!

Oh yes it has been a love affairs indeed! Paris and Montparnasse!!! I like to bring this short intro to the neighborhood I onced worked in my eternal Paris. Lots of good souvenirs of going for lunches around here and seeing beautiful architecture and history all around me. Hope you enjoy it as I do and thanks for reading me.

On my many trips to Paris now , once again I got in by Montparnasse. A vast area where there are still many symbols of the grandeur of Paris in the 1920’s and afterward, where I once worked and now go in to Paris at the Gare Montparnasse.

The smaller area is in the 14éme arrondissement de Paris or district in the 53rd quartier or neighborhood. Many people comes here and are told of the 20 districts of Paris that you find in the postal codes like 75 then the district or 75014. What many missed is the fact that since the creation of the new Paris by Baron Haussmann under Napoléon III in 1860 it was created into four quartiers or neighborhood per arrondissement or district ; therefore, Paris has 80 or four per district. (See my posts)

Some of the things to see in this neighborhood are the Barrière d’Enfer on the Mur des Fermiers généraux , the second barrier of roads in Paris today and was the wall set up between 1784 and 1790.  The sculpture of the Lion de Belfort in the Place Denfert-Rochereau (the symbol of the territory of Belfort ) It was done by Auguste Bartholdi and as the Statue of Liberté done by him ,both points in the same direction in Paris!

The wonderful boulevard du Montparnasse with some of the most famous cafés such as La Coupole and Le Dôme! The cimetiére du Montparnasse (cemetery) where rest in peace such names as Charles Baudelaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Samuel Beckett, Guy de Moupassant, Sainte Beuve, Serge Gainsbourg, etc.  The wonderful metro station Montparnasse-Bienvenüe (metro lines 4,6,12, and 13) that links to the Gare de Montparnasse train station. The theater or Théâtre Montparnasse, Bobino, Theater de la Gaîté-Montparnasse, Theater Rive Gauche, and the Theater d’Edgar. The wonderful crêperies on the heights of rue du Montparnasse reminds you of little Brittany or petit Bretagne. 

paris blvd de montparnasse nov17

The Fondation Cartier for the art contemporary, the Observatoire de Paris, the meridian of Paris crosses the district.  And the Prison de la Santé or health prison built in 1861 and has held many notables still to this day the only prison inside Paris city limits still today!!!

This area, which has become so famous, was only a place called close to the village of Vaugirard. At the site of the current Carrefour Vavin, at the corner of Boulevards du Montparnasse and Raspail, a pile of rubble had formed an artificial hillock.

Carriers, duelists or onlookers, many met in this place which then bore the name of “Mont de la Fronde”, because some trained there by stone throwing. It sometimes happened that students came to recite verses, not without a certain irony. Irony which will push some malicious to rename this mound in Mont Parnassus, in memory of the shelter of the muses of which the Greek mythology tells us. The premonition is all the more fun when you know the artistic profusion that will mark the history of the neighborhood. This name definitively adopted in 1773 when the rue du Montparnasse was pierced to make the junction between the rue Notre Dame des Champs and the Cour du Midi built under king Louis XIV. In time, the mound will be leveled. As for the famous Cour du Midi, it will be renamed a few years later to be transformed into Boulevard du Montparnasse.

At the beginning of the 20C, many artists will migrate from Montmartre to Montparnasse, considered more central. The district will have many workshops and cities of painters, many of which will be sacrificed during the savage renovation of the district in the 60s / 70s.

It is, also, my old working quartier and my entry point each time coming out from gare Montparnasse now. The restos around the Gare de Montparnasse are like my second home for many years. On this latest visit I step in into Café bar La Marine 59 bd Montparnasse,for a taste of some fish and chips with cold Carlsberg beers and a new taste of  IPA rather sweeter brew; just nice ,,,,as always. Great cozy tables and great sports match ambiance. Cannot confirm if open as the webpage does not work and due to the virus who knows,unfortunately. Here for the memories anyway!

The tourist office of Paris on the Montparnasse quartier!

And there you go another day in Paris! Montparnasse became famous in the 1920’s and has gone thru periods of decline, but lately is coming back with many places of lecture and discussion sometimes in the same old places and sometimes in new places. We used to have a group by Pizza  Pino and it continues as far as I know. Hope you enjoy the post and do relive Montparnasse Paris!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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