Discover Montparnasse off the beaten track
Publish on Tuesday, 10 January 2017 in Unusual Paris
We know the Montparnasse district for its Tower, its cinemas and the gourmet delights on offer there. But there are many other interesting locations to visit in the neighbourhood that are off the beaten track, including the cemetery, the Jardin de l’Atlantique and the Bourdelle Museum. Even better; these unusual places are easily accessible from your Hotel Convention Montparnasse!
A place of rest in Montparnasse
Père Lachaise Cemetery, along with the celebrities interred there, is famed throughout the world. Montparnasse Cemetery is not as well-known, yet it also offers opportunities to pay your respects at the graves of important and influential people. Amidst a profound peace that contrasts markedly with the effervescence of the district you can discover, among others, the tombs of Serge Gainsbourg, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Charles Baudelaire. The movie legend Gérard Oury and the writer Marguerite Duras also rest here. As you stroll the aisles you’ll see the tower of an old flour mill, a reminder that this area was farmland prior to becoming a cemetery in 1824. Several works of art can also be found, including the Bird for Jean-Jacques and the grave of Ricardo Menon by Niki de Saint-Phalle, and The Kiss by Constantin Brancusi.
Culture in Montparnasse
The Montparnasse district is home to two must-see places for art lovers: the Bourdelle Museum and the Cité des Arts. The first is located in the former workshop of the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929). The museum and its garden hold hundreds of works by the sculptor and items from his personal art collection.
If you like to follow in the footsteps of great artists, go to the Cité des Arts. In the 19th century this verdant and tranquil little alley was lined with the workshops of great artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani and Braque, and you can still feel the artistic spirit of the place. A mini-museum completes the tour.
A hidden park in Montparnasse
Montparnasse is also home to a park that you could easily overlook, as the green haven that is the Jardin de l’Atlantique is situated on the roof that covers the platforms of the Montparnasse railway station. Seventeen metres above street level is a huge lawn, trees, shrubs, flowers and a splendid fountain. Sports facilities complete the space.