Montparnasse [ mɔpaʀnas ] is a flat hill on the Rive Gauche (left bank ) of the Seine in Paris, which was amalgamated with other peripheral districts until 1 January 1860 and the 53rd district or districts of Paris gave its name to the part of the 14. arrondissements, Arrondissement de l' Observatoire is the. The district, which is now known as Montparnasse, extends far beyond the boundaries of the political unity of the neighborhood. Its center is the Boulevard du Montparnasse and the Gare Montparnasse and the Montparnasse Tower, the second tallest building in Paris, in the west, and the bustling intersection with the Boulevard Raspail in the east, where there are numerous street cafes.

  • 3.1 theater
  • 3.2 Museums
  • 3.3 Structures
  • 3.4 green spaces
  • 3.5 Catering
  • 3.6 Sport


The name Montparnasse is derived from the mountain (French: mont ) Parnass from Greek mythology - home of the Muses and the epitome of poetry - and is explained by the fact that in the 17th century, many students of the Latin Quarter in this time still idyllic area came to recite poems.


Construction of the Boulevard du Montparnasse in 1760 required the leveling of the hill.

The Montparnasse was the beginning of the 20th century, during the so-called Années folles, famous, as here suggested the heart of intellectual and artistic life of Paris. Important for the hustle and bustle in the quarter were the legendary cafés.

At the beginning of the 20th century were writers, sculptors, painters, poets and composers from around the world to Montparnasse to a cheap apartment in one of the artists' colonies, such as La Ruche be found in the creative atmosphere of the neighborhood.

In the quarter creativity with all their peculiarities was welcome. As Tsuguharu Foujita in 1913 arrived from Japan and knew no one, he met Chaim Soutine, Amedeo Modigliani, Jules Pascin and Fernand Léger on the same evening. Within a week he had made ​​friends with Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. In 1914, the English painter Nina Hamnett arrived in Montparnasse and the man who sat opposite her at the Café de la Rotonde, introduced himself as " Modigliani, painter and Jew ". They became good friends and Hamnett later told often as a trousers and a shirt borrowed from Modigliani to the all night dancing on the street in front of the La Rotonde.

While most of the artistic community of Montparnasse wrestled for survival, came wealthy celebrities from the U.S. as Peggy Guggenheim, Edith Wharton and Harry Crosby to be infected by the creative atmosphere. Crosby founded with his wife Caresse 1927 Publisher Black Sun Press in Paris and brought out later works of the likes of DH Lawrence, Archibald MacLeish, James Joyce, Kay Boyle, Hart Crane, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Dorothy Parker and others.

Cafes and bars

The cafés and bars of Montparnasse were the places where new ideas were born and developed. The center of the scene and the night life was at Carrefour Vavin, which has since been renamed Place Pablo - Picasso. In the cafés Le Dôme, such as, La Closerie des Lilas, La Rotonde, Le Select and La Coupole - they all still exist - could occupy a table for the whole night artist for little money. If they fell asleep, the waiters could not wake her. There were frequent disputes, sometimes by intellectual disagreements, sometimes caused by alcohol. If there were fights, and it happened often, did not care the police. There were cafe owners who were willing to take a picture as a pledge, till it came to trigger payment of the artist. So many cafes had a collection of pictures on the walls that would make today the most important museums green with envy.

One of the many places where the artists gathered, the Dingo Bar near the Le Dôme in the Rue Delambre No. 10 was you was the preferred bar where Americans came from and where Canadian writer Morley Callaghan with his friend Ernest Hemingway was, both then still writers whose works were not published. Man Ray set up his studio in the Hôtel Istria, Rue Campagne Première - 29 Here he began his career as a photographer, and here posed James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau.

In the Rue de la Gaite, there were a lot of great music theaters and nightclubs, especially the famous Bobino. Here were the great artists of the time such as Damia, Kiki, Mayol and Georgius. They all had stage names, which consisted only of a name, sometimes their first name, which was very popular at that time. They usually played to a full house. In the same area Les Six were founded, the music played on the basis of the ideas of Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau.

The poet Max Jacob said he came to Montparnasse to " sin terrible." Marc Chagall is said to have expressed it more elegant by reportedly stated his reasons why he came to Montparnasse, as follows: "I wanted to see with my own eyes what I had only heard from so far away. This revolution of the eye, this rotation of colors that mix spontaneously and unexpectedly with another and went into a stream of imaginary lines. That you could not see in my city. The sun of the arts seemed only to Paris. " Adolescence - The Roman Fever by Leslie Kaplan plays exclusively in Montparnasse. The labyrinth of streets, the crossroads of the great boulevards, the parks and the famous cemetery form the background for the silent flight of the main characters from before themselves and before they committed crimes.

Not only artists came into the district, but also people who had to go into exile for political reasons, settled here. These included Lenin, Trotsky, Porfirio Diaz and Symon Petljura.

During the Second World War and the occupation of Paris, the artists had to leave the city, part of which had a Jewish background or refugee was - often both. Many of them were killed by the Nazis. The works of less famous are often missing or scattered all over the world, their documentation is difficult.

Montparnasse was then able to reach back to its original size before. Wealthy people such as Peggy Guggenheim, who married artist Max Ernst, lived in the elegant neighborhoods of Paris, but came into the studios of Montparnasse, to buy works of art that can be found R. Guggenheim Museum today, for example, in the Solomon.

Culture and sights


The largest concentration of theaters in the district can be found in the vicinity of the Rue de la Gaite and the Boulevard Edgar. Right on the Boulevard is the Théâtre de Poche, the smallest theater in Paris.


At the foot of the Musée Bourdelle Montparnasseturmes shows works by the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, who lived here and the road gave its name: Rue Antoine Bourdelle -.

The Musée du Montparnasse Avenue du Maine, in 1998 opened a non-profit and private art museum, is dependent on the financial support of the District Mayor's Office. It shows a collection of artworks that were provided by artists, art lovers and friends of the district are available. The under the patronage of President Chirac temporary exhibition Montparnasse Deporte in summer 2005 showed for the first time works of fine art by Jewish artists of the district, who suffered under Nazi persecution.

The Museum of the Institut Louis Pasteur belongs, strictly speaking, already for the district Vaugirard.


Featured Buildings at Montparnasse include the Paris Observatory (17th century), the former customs houses of Ledoux (17th century) and the tunnels of the former underground quarries, which have been transformed from 1785 in catacombs, both at the Place Denfert -Rochereau, further the Art Foundation Fondation Cartier by architect Jean Nouvel on the Boulevard Raspail and the skyscraper Tour Montparnasse with its 209 meter high observation deck.

Green spaces

The largest green space in the form of Montparnasse Montparnasse Cemetery, resting on the artists like Charles Baudelaire, Jean -Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Alfred Dreyfus and Samuel Beckett.

Another green area is the Jardin Atlantique, a public park, which was built on the roof of the Montparnasse train station.


In the area around the railway station of Montparnasse, there are many Breton restaurants where the pancakes called crepes or galettes are prepared, a specialty from Brittany.


The weekly held three-hour in-line skate tour of Paris starts Friday at 22 clock in the square in front of the Gare Montparnasse.

Well-known artists from Montparnasse

Only a few artists who have lived and worked in Montparnasse, have been born there. They came from many countries around the world and gave the cosmopolitan flair of Montparnasse, which has preserved to this day it. The most popular are, in chronological order of their dates of birth:

  • Jeanne Rij -Rousseau (1870-1956), French painter
  • Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939), English writer
  • Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), American writer, publisher, art collector and patron
  • Max Jacob (1876-1944), French poet, painter and writer
  • Léon- Paul Fargue (1876-1947), French poet
  • Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), Romanian sculptor
  • Angelina Beloff (1879-1969), Russian painter and sculptor
  • Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), French poet Italian - Polish descent
  • Man Ray, actually Rudnitzky Emmanuel (1890-1976), American painter and photographer
  • Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973), French sculptor of Lithuanian origin
  • Fernand Leger (1881-1955), French painter, graphic artist and ceramist
  • Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish painter
  • Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920), Italian artist, painter and sculptor of Jewish origin
  • Jules Pascin (1885-1930), Bulgarian painter of Expressionism
  • Henri Laurens (1885-1954), French sculptor and draftsman
  • Lou Albert - Lazard (1885-1969), German - French painter.
  • Ezra Pound (1885-1972), American writer
  • Diego Rivera (1886-1957), Mexican painter
  • Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1968), Japanese painter
  • Juan Gris (1887-1927), Spanish painter
  • Blaise Cendrars (1887-1961), Swiss poet
  • Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), French painter and object artist
  • Marc Chagall (1887-1985), Russian painter white
  • Suzanne Duchamp - Crotti (1889-1963), French painter, sister of Marcel Duchamp and Raymond
  • Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967), White Russian painter and sculptor
  • Ilya Grigoryevich Ehrenburg (1891-1967), Russian writer
  • Moise Kisling (1891-1953), Polish painter
  • Henry Miller (1891-1980), American writer
  • Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), American poet and politician
  • Marija Bronislawowna Worobjowa - Stebelskaja (1892-1984), Russian painter
  • Chaim Soutine (1893-1943), French painter Lithuanian- Jewish descent
  • Joan Miró (1893-1983), Spanish painter, graphic artist and sculptor, Surrealist
  • André Breton (1896-1966), French poet and writer and surrealist
  • René Iché (1897-1954), French sculptor and draftsman
  • Alexander Calder (1898-1976), American sculptor
  • Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), American writer
  • Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), Swiss artist and sculptor
  • Kiki of Montparnasse (1901-1953), French model; Singer, actress and painter
  • AM Cassandre, actually Adolphe Jean Marie Mouron (1901-1968), Ukrainian graphic designer, typographer, painter, stage designer
  • Consuelo Sandoval de Gómez Suncin (1901-1979), Salvadoran painter and sculptor, later wife of Antoine de Saint- Exupéry
  • Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), Spanish painter, sculptor, set designer and writer
  • Moïse Erco Bercovici (1904-1944), Romanian painter and engraver
  • Jean -Paul Sartre (1905-1980), French writer and philosopher
  • Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish writer
  • Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), French writer, philosopher and feminist
  • Eugène Ionesco (1909-1994), French writer of Romanian origin
  • Marika Rivera (1919-2010), French actress
  • Isidore Isou, actually Isidor Goldstein (1925-2007), founder of the Lettrism
  • Also: Paul Fort, Michel Kikoine, Pinchus Krémègne, Marie Vassilieff
  • See also: Charles Trenet