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Montparnasse is the 53rd administrative district of Paris located in the 14th arrondissement, on the left bank of the Seine, at the intersection of Boulevard du Montparnasse and Boulevard Raspail. It was absorbed by the city with other municipalities and administrative divisions in 1860.
The name of this district was given by some students neighbors, who in the seventeenth century came to recite the verses on a hill formed by some banks, in reference to Mount Parnassus, home of the Muses of Greek mythology. The hill has been razed to the ground to draw the Boulevard du Montparnasse, in the eighteenth century, a place of walking in the city. From the French Revolution, settled many dance halls and cabarets, including the famous Bal Bullier.
The district has given its name to a street, a barrier of toll gates, a driveway, a railway station, a cemetery, a metro station and a skyscraper:
- rue du Montparnasse (1773)
- barrière du Montparnasse (1786)
- boulevard du Montparnasse
- Paris gare de Montparnasse, where trains depart for the west facade and the south-west of France, from Granville in Toulouse.
- Montparnasse Cemetery, final resting place of, among others, Charles Baudelaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Samuel Beckett, Guy de Maupassant, Sainte-Beuve and Serge Gainsbourg.
- metro station Montparnasse – Bienvenüe
- la tour Montparnasse (1969-1972), 210 m, 59 floors of offices.
The Montparnasse district is famous for its artistic life and for having hosted famous names in art and culture in different periods and eras, from the impressionists to cubists.
Pablo Picasso was among the first to move into the district, which had its heyday in the twenties of the twentieth century, defined the Years insane; in this place, in fact it is written in the artistic history of France and the West. When Tsuguharu Foujita came from Japan in 1913, he met Soutine, Modigliani, Pascin and Leger virtually the same night, and in a few weeks he became friends with Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.
They were in the neighborhood several clubs and cafes, meeting points for artists and intellectuals such as the Dome, the Closerie des Lilas, la Rotonde, Le Select, la Coupole, la Bonne Franquette and Le Boeuf sur le Toit.
A short distance from the railway station of the district is the modern church of Notre-Dame-de-l’Arche-d’Alliance.