Montparnasse

Montparnasse is an area of Paris, France, on the left bank of the river Seine, centred at the crossroads of the Boulevard du Montparnasse and the Rue de Rennes, between the Rue de Rennes and boulevard Raspail. Montparnasse was absorbed into the capital's 14th arrondissement in 1669.

The area also gives its name to:

  • Gare Montparnasse – trains to Brittany, TGV to Rennes, Tours, Bordeaux, Le Mans; rebuilt as a modern TGV station;
  • The large Montparnasse – Bienvenüe métro station;
  • Cimetière du Montparnasse – the Montparnasse Cemetery, where Charles Baudelaire, Constantin Brâncuşi, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Samuel Beckett, and Susan Sontag are buried
  • Tour Montparnasse, a lone skyscraper.

The Pasteur Institute is located in the area. Beneath the ground are tunnels of the Catacombs of Paris.

The name Montparnasse stems from the nickname "Mount Parnassus" (In Greek mythology, home to the nine Greek goddesses – the Muses – of the arts and sciences) given to the hilly neighbourhood in the 17th century by students who came there to recite poetry.

The hill was levelled to construct the Boulevard Montparnasse in the 18th century. During the French Revolution many dance halls and cabarets opened their doors.

The area is also known for cafes and bars, such as the Breton restaurants specialising in crêpes (thin pancakes) located a few blocks from the Gare Montparnasse.

Read more about Montparnasse:  Artistic Montparnasse, Economy, Education, Further Reading

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