The Bd du Montparnasse of Paris!!

Oh well I am into nostalgia again, and after revising some older posts, why not tell you about a new post in my blog of a very venerable street of my eternal Paris. As said,used to worked around here and criss cross it many times on foot and by car. This is the world famous Boulevard du Montparnasse of Paris!!

The Boulevard du Montparnasse is located on the border of the 6éme, 14éme and 15éme arrondissements of Paris. Almost straight, it connects Place Léon-Paul-Fargue (where the Duroc metro station is located) to Place Camille-Jullian (where the RER B Port- Royal). It passes at the foot of the Montparnasse tower, place du 18-Juin-1940 (see post) . As said above, the Boulevard du Montparnasse belongs to three arrondissements: odd numbers belong to the Notre-Dame-des-Champs quartier or neighborhood in the 6éme arrondissement; even numbers from No. 2 to No. 66 belong to the Necker neighborhood or quartier in the 15éme arrondissement; and even numbers from number 68 belong to the Montparnasse neighborhood or quartier in the 14éme arrondissement or district,

The boulevard takes its name from a mound, probably artificial and made up of centuries-old piles of rubble, which stood on its route at the height of the current Place Pablo-Picasso. This mound was called “Mount of Parnassus” in the 17C in reference to Mount Parnassus, residence of the Muses of Greek mythology. Neighboring students, who came to declaim verses there, would have given it this name out of derision. The mound was first crossed by the boulevard, then entirely leveled in the middle of the 18C. The Boulevard du Montparnasse is part of the “boulevards du Midi”, like boulevards de l’Hôpital, Auguste-Blanqui, Saint-Jacques, Raspail and des Invalides, whose construction was ordered in 1704 by Louis XIV. Construction began around 1720,and was not completed until the early 1760s. When the boulevard was completed, it ended on rue d’Enfer, avenue de l’Observatoire did not yet exist. The boulevard was sparsely built and fairly deserted until the mid-19C, It was paved in 1839 and lit in 1843. After a first pier on the Versailles-rive gauche (left bank ) train line built in 1840 at the Maine barrier. The Montparnasse train station was established in 1852 along the boulevard. The Rue de Rennes was drilled opposite the station in 1855. The old train station of 1852 was destroyed during the 1960s, to make way for the Tour Montparnasse tower, while the new train infrastructure was moved several hundred meters towards the south as of today. In the 1950s, the Boulevard du Montparnasse was transformed by the widening of its automobile roadway, which went from 13.5 to 21 meters wide, to the detriment of the sidewalks.


Some of the monument, buildings to see as my favorites (not all) are :

No 8: the building belongs to the Vatican which rents the apartments,,,
No. 10: site of the hotel of Alphonse Chodron de Courcel built in 1880. The former premises also disappeared from the YMCA (Christian Union of young people) placed in 1926 at the disposal of the Christian Action of Russian Students (ACER ) who set up their headquarters there. In the courtyard, in a wing of the building which was used to store books, is an Orthodox church, consecrated on December 3, 1928. In October 1936, this Church of the Presentation in the Temple of the Most Holy Mother of God moved (still in the 15éme arrondissement where many Russians who emigrated because of the 1917 revolutions lived), to 91, rue Olivier-de-Serres, which had been hosting ACER activities since December 1935, in premises they own.
No 25: The House of Cornues is an 18C private mansion having had various owners including: the Count of Béthune, the Prince of Condé and Philippe de Vendôme. It will be the family apartment of the painter Paul-Élie Ranson and, above, becomes from 1889 the meeting place of his friends the Nabis. The place will be renamed “The Temple” for the occasion. The engraver Léopold Flameng lived there from 1869 to 1898,
No 49: Here functioned the Vitti Academy. From 1878 to 1890, the Montpellier painter Michel Maximilien Leenhardt and the Spanish painter Vicente Santaolaria had their studio there. From 1906, the English painter Thomas William Marshall had his home and studio there. It was in the studio at this address that Olga Boznańska died on October 26, 1940.
No 59: the building at this address houses, in addition to the Hotel Terminus Montparnasse on the upper floors, previously the Grand Hôtel de la Marine et des Colonies, two restaurants on its ground floor to the left of the hotel entrance , a restaurant created in 1858, which became Bouillon Édouard Chartier in 1903 (whose Art Nouveau decor, still visible today, was undertaken in 1906), then Bouillon Rougeot from 1924 to 1977 and finally restaurant Montparnasse 1900, where each year , since 2009, the Prix des Impertinents, by a jury composed of writers, essayists and journalists to the right of the entrance to the hotel La Marine, a bar restaurant now , where each month a from 1879 the Celtic Dinner, a banquet organized until the beginning of the following century and bringing together Bretons and sympathizers of Brittany living in Paris.
No 75: address of the Poche Montparnasse theater inaugurated in 1943 (which is accessed by a narrow, unnamed dead-end street, closed by a gate).
No 79: the poet Raymond de La Tailhède, one of the founders of the Roman School, lived part of his life at this address. A commemorative plaque is placed there.
No 80: former Polish high school, designed by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc on the initiative of Adam Jerzy Czartoryski, donated to the city of Paris in 1871, and became workshops of fine arts of the city of Paris.
No 91: Notre-Dame-des-Champs Church. (see post), This is bordered by Square Ozanam, itself adjoining Boulevard du Montparnasse.
No. 99: Brasserie Le Select. Founded in 1923, it is the first establishment to stay open all night.
No 102: Brasserie La Coupole, opened in 1927.
No 103: UGC Rotonde cinema. A pre-existing building at this location in a beautiful apartment in the current building was born, on January 9, 1908, Simone de Beauvoir, she lived there as a child until 1919, when reversals of fortune forced her family to move to less opulent housing. , at 71, rue de Rennes,
No 105: Brasserie La Rotonde, establishment opened in 1911. Cocteau photographed Picasso there.
No 108: Brasserie Le Dôme, opened in 1897. It counted Lenin and Trotsky among his customers. Other famous clients include Hemingway whose Paris ça fête or mouvable feast chapter is titled: “Avec Pascin au Dôme”, Man Ray, Henry Miller, Blaise Cendrars, André Breton, Samuel Beckett…etc,
Nos 105 and 113: between these numbers and nos 108 and 112: “Carrefour Vavin”, officially called Place Pablo-Picasso since 1984. Located on the site of part of the old Boulevards du Midi ,the goal of country walks in the 18C, the square became at the end of the 18C a place of entertainment, then from the 19C until the beginning of WWII the favorite place for meetings and exchanges between painters, visual artists, photographers, models, writers and journalists. Bback on the central lane of Boulevard Raspail, a statue of Balzac cast in bronze from an original work of 1891-1897 by Auguste Rodin here since 1939,

No 124: At a corner of the boulevard with rue Léopold-Robert, during a period between the wars, of Stage B, a jazz club where night balls were organized. In 1935, photographed by Émile Savitry, Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli and the Quintette du Hot Club de France as well as Valaida Snow performed there. Later, this address is that of New Jimmy’s created in 1961 by Régine, in the premises of a striptease club closed , The twist is launched there. Régine lives at this time above this nightclub. Within the walls of this establishment, long gone, there are several restaurants to this day.
No 132: the painter Henri Matisse moved to this address in 1927.
No 135 bis: Paul and Camille Claudel lived at this address from 1882 to 1886, with their mother and sister Louise.
No 142: In 1865, Émile Zola remained, with his mother, in a dwelling on the second floor at this address, one of the many successive Parisian homes of the writer during the precarious existence of his youth,
No 171: Brasserie La Closerie des Lilas. Established in 1903, on the site of a former post house with a terrace opening onto the boulevard. Loved to hang out: Paul Fort, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Alfred Jarry, Scott Fitzgerald; later, Renaud was a regular at the place and met Romane Serda there in 1999. Today, this establishment is still frequented by members of Tout-Paris.
No 171: This address is one of Ernest Hemingway’s successive domiciles in Paris.

The Paris tourist office on the quartier or neighborhood of Montparnasse

The Paris tourist office on Montparnasse of the artists

Ok folks, there you go, do I have to tell you more? This is Paris of its best, Montparnasse! and you should invest more time here and away from the center (1-4), the real Parisian lifestyle you came to see is right here! Hope you enjoy this bit of introduction to the Bd du Montparnasse and its wonderful architecture and huge history.

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

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: