The Montparnasse area of Paris gets its name from Mount Parnassus which was the legendary home of the nine Muses in Greek Mythology. This sector of Paris is located along the Left Bank of the Seine in the 14th arrondissement on the intersection of Rue de Rennes and the Boulevard du Montparnasse. Before the 18th Century, the Montparnasse area of Paris was dominated by hills which were levelled out to make way for the Boulevard Montparnasse.
The Montparnasse area of Paris is very popular with tourists on account of its past. Home to many cafés and bars, the Montparnasse area of Paris was reputed to be the hub for intellectuals and artists from around the world during the start of the 20th century. Painters, writers, sculptors, poets, composers and people with a passion for the arts thrived in the creative atmosphere of this area. The Montparnasse area of Paris also saw the birth of the artist communes like the famous La Ruche.
The bars and cafés in the Montparnasse area of Paris were once the meeting places of world renowned artists and writers including Modigliani, Chagall, Lenin, Trotsky, Hemingway and Miller. Some of these places like the Place Pablo Picasso (formerly known as Carrefour Vavin), Le Dôme, La Rotonde, La Closerie des Lilas, La Coupole and Le Select still run successfully today. Visitors to this area will be able to gain a sense of the lives that these artists once lived.
The Montparnasse area is also famous for the Montparnasse Tower which was Paris’s first tall sky scraper and was built in 1973. Other highlights of this area include the Parc Montsouris, the Montparnasse Cemetery, which is the final resting place of many famous names, and the Catacombs which are a series of underground tunnels that were used during the World War II.
Further Paris travel ideas:
- As well as the Latin Quarter for holiday apartments in Paris, France, St Germain rental apartments are also worth considering.
- For getting around within the city, read about the local transport possibilities.