Around World War I, writers, poets and artists of the avant-garde abandoned Montmartre and moved to Montparnasse, shifting the core of Paris's artistic and cultural life to the area around Boulevard du Montparnasse.
Chagall, Modigliani, Lèger, Soutine, Miro, Kandinsky, Picasso, Stravinsky, Hemingway, Henry Miller and Cocteau as well as political exiles such as Lenin and Trotsky all hung out here at various times, talking endlessly in the cafés and restaurants for which the quarter is still famous (Le Dôme, La Coupole...).*
Montparnasse remained an artistic center until the mid-1930s. Since the construction of the massive new Gare Montparnasse as well as the addition of many fashionable cafés and cinemas, very little remains of what used to be a bohemian nest.
However, the area remains picturesque because of its lively atmosphere at night and of the monumental Montparnasse Tower, built in the 60s.
From its height of 209m the tower dominates the Parisian landscape. From the air-conditioned comfort of the 56th floor, you can appreciate the unexpected views of the roofs of Paris, and more than 50 of the capital's historical monuments.
Address: rue de l'Arrivée, 15th. Phone : 33 1 45 38 52 56. Open daily from 9.30am to 10.30pm in winter, 11.30pm in summer.
See also: Montparnasse Area Restaurants
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