Montparnasse – Denfert Rochereau

    Once the epicenter of a thriving artistic and literary scene in the “Années Folles” (the “Roaring Twenties”), Montparnasse is now a rather quiet residential neighborhood. The area has retained its cultural flair with many artist workshops and brasseries lining up around Vavin, leaving traces of its famous residents, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Chagall, and Modigliani to name a few… Following the Boulevard Raspail south, you’ll pass by La Fondation Cartier, before ending up at Denfert-Rochereau. The square here is known for its gigantic lion statue, but perhaps most of all for the Paris Catacombs which attract thousands of tourists seeking a macabre sightseeing experience.

    Montparnasse – Denfert Rochereau Neighborhood, Paris.

My life in the Neighborhood

When we first settled in Paris, we moved into a small flat in the Montparnasse area, on a busy street known as "La Rue des Crêpes" for the numerous little crêperies there. It was our first experience of Paris, and instead of the hostile, rushed, noisy life that we had been dreading - a common fear of Provincial people moving to the capital city - we found a vibrant, friendly neighborhood with an atmosphere and a spirit all of its own. We love to return to reminisce whenever we feel a bit nostalgic about the good ol' days.

For those first years, the Edgar Quinet metro station was the center of our world. From there, we could see the Montparnasse tower standing like a giant 2001- A-Space-Odyssey-style black monolith at the end of the tree-lined boulevard. The café terraces near the metro station were perhaps the best place in Paris to admire a golden sunset during a summer evening apéro. Our favorite spot was and still is le Café de la Place with its Golden Twenties flair and warm, welcoming atmosphere.

By Guillaume   

Neighborhood Staples

  • Surely you shouldn't miss the view from the highest point in Paris, on top of the Montparnasse tower

  • The nearby Montparnasse cemetery offers a quiet place for sunny day strolls

  • La Fondation Cartier on Boulevard Raspail is a small but beautiful exhibition center

  • In Denfert Rochereau, the Catacombs are a must-see for gothic thrill seekers


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