A Travellerspoint blog

Montparnasse Cemetery and the Luxembourg Gardens

Monday, June 16, 2014

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Another night of coughing so after breakfast, we made yet another visit to the pharmacist, whom we are getting to know quite well, and had a long discussion. Ed got a couple new medicines and some cough drops. Here’s hoping . . .

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Square Boucicaut

Square Boucicaut


We went back to the apartment, took medicines and collected camera and Paris Walk cards and set off. We decided to walk to the start of the Paris Walk because it was just one Metro stop from ours. We started down blvd. Raspail to the Sèvres-Babylone Metro station and started our Paris Walk there. Very few tourists, a lovely day and easy walking. We checked all the tiny parks along the way. We missed one turn but caught ourselves at rue Vavin where we stopped at a very nice paper store and bought a Merci card. We've passed quite a few art stores and it's tempting to go in all of them. We've resisted so far . . .

Square Boucicaut

Square Boucicaut

Ducks at Square Boucicaut

Ducks at Square Boucicaut

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Restaurant La Coupole

Restaurant La Coupole

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We happened upon Eglise Notre-Dame des Champs at the corner of rue du Montparnasse and blvd. du Montparnasse. We looked into the church and the small garden beside it, then continued our walk and started looking for lunch. We were in a little Alsace-little Brittany area with dozens of crêperies which we don’t like so we had a bit of a search but found a pleasant brasserie at Pl. Fernand Mourlot and settled in for a very non-touristy lunch at La Liberté. Ed got a nice cassoulet and I got a confit de canard. We had ice cream for dessert. [Café La Liberté, 1 Rue de la Gaité 75014 Paris; tel: +33 (0)1 4320-9456]

Eglise Notre-Dame-des-Champs

Eglise Notre-Dame-des-Champs

Main Altar and Organ of Notre-Dame-des-Champs

Main Altar and Organ of Notre-Dame-des-Champs

Corner of rue du Montparnasse and blvd. du Montparnasse

Corner of rue du Montparnasse and blvd. du Montparnasse

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Overlooking it all, the Montparnasse Tower

Overlooking it all, the Montparnasse Tower


Left the pleasant restaurant to resume our walk and found another art store so we gave in and entered. I've been looking for a special yellow and the Sennelier store didn't have it so we decided this one might. As it turned out, they didn’t have my PY175 but I did buy a book and we left . . . to pass several more art stores. Fun neighborhood!

We wound our way to and into Cimetière du Montparnasse and walked through the peaceful cemetery. I got a photo of the grave of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Some of the graves here are fascinating, everything from classic sculpture to very modernistic decorations on the tombs. There are trees and art; it's very peaceful. The only jarring note is the ghastly Montparnasse Tower jutting up into the sky visible everywhere. The view of Paris from the top of it is spectacular; the view of it from the Eiffel Tower is not. I always recommend people go up the Montparnasse Tower for the view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower. It's much easier and nicer than waiting in line at the Eiffel Tower and ending up viewing the Montparnasse Tower in the background. Montparnasse Tower web site

Entrance to Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris with map

Entrance to Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris with map

Tomb of sculptor Henri Laurens, his piece La Douleur at Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

Tomb of sculptor Henri Laurens, his piece La Douleur at Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

A Pleurant (weeper/mourner) at a tomb in Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

A Pleurant (weeper/mourner) at a tomb in Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

Three tombs at Montparnasse Cemetery and a Dancing Angel

Three tombs at Montparnasse Cemetery and a Dancing Angel

Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

Obviously a pianist at Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

Obviously a pianist at Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

Very modern sculpture set in marble at Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

Very modern sculpture set in marble at Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

A mobile and the little people in Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

A mobile and the little people in Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

Very modern tombstone at Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

Very modern tombstone at Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris

Tomb of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir

Tomb of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir

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One of the Wallace Fountains designed by Charles-Auguste Lebourg

One of the Wallace Fountains designed by Charles-Auguste Lebourg


We exited on blvd. Raspail, passed the Foundation Cartier, checked their garden through the large glass windows and then found ourselves somehow at the Denfert-Rochereau Metro station. We had managed to go the wrong way, not fun when on foot. We got out the map and set off up blvd. Denfert-Rochereau to get to the Luxembourg Gardens and saw a bit more of Paris than we had planned. We stopped at a monastic shop and didn’t buy anything but did note it for further exploration. They sell all kinds of things from monasteries, including patés, preserves and music. [Monastery of the Visitation; 68 avenue Denfert-Rochereau 75014, Paris; tel: +33 (0)1 4327-1290; email: [email protected]]

At one point we passed one of the Wallace Fountains we've found all over Paris. Our oldest daughter always refills her waterbottle at one of these as we pass.

Monastery of the Visitation near the Luxembourg Gardens

Monastery of the Visitation near the Luxembourg Gardens

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Fontaine de l'Observatoire of Paris

Fontaine de l'Observatoire of Paris


Finally arrived at the lower reaches of the Luxembourg Gardens where students just out of exams were having water fights. We managed to remain dry and walked through the gardens and fought our way through millions of tourists on rue Bonaparte and home. Tired!

Jardin des Grands Explorateurs with the Palais du Luxembourg at the very end

Jardin des Grands Explorateurs with the Palais du Luxembourg at the very end

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Eglise Saint Sulpice and the Poesie Market

Eglise Saint Sulpice and the Poesie Market

The Zadkine sculpture in front of Les Deux Magots and Eglise Saint Germain

The Zadkine sculpture in front of Les Deux Magots and Eglise Saint Germain

Posted by Beausoleil 14:31 Archived in France Tagged cemetery_montparnasse

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Comments

When I was there in 2014, the grave of Sartre and Beauvoir was covered with flowers, notes and especially bus and métro tickets, weighted down with little stones so they wouldn’t blow away. The notes on the grave were mainly in English and all addressed to Simone de Beauvoir. They read, for instance: “Simone, thank you!” Or: “One is not born but becomes a woman.” (A quotation from The Second Sex.) Or: “The greatest love affair.” Or: “Never have I mourned so much for a woman I have never known.” Or: “You inspired me to do great things.” (There are all from my old VT tip.)
A year later Paul (pfsmalo on VT) was there and found the grave completely clean and empty. When I was there again last month some of the kiss-marks were back and there was one note in a closed envelope, addressed to "M. J.-P. Sartre".

by Nemorino

I meant these are all from my old VT tip, not there.

by Nemorino

Grave yards are very interesting. This one is so neat and stately. Good tip about going to the top of the Montparnasse Tower rather than the Eiffel.

by aussirose

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