Montparnasse cemetery,  the final resting place of many artists and illustrious personalities.


The grave featuring Mr and Mrs Pigeon lying on their bed

After WWI, just after the heyday of Montmartre (and before the Saint Germain des Prés one) and for a few decades, Montparnasse was the home and favorite haunt of many writers and artists : Picasso, Soutine,Man Ray,Sartre,Simone de Beauvoir, Hemingway, Foujita, Zadkine, Brancusi,Amadeo Modigliani, Samuel Beckett, Fitzgerald just to name a few27092017-IMG_9992


Artists came from all over the world and Montparnasse was the capital of the avant-garde, the heart of the artistic and intellectual Parisian life.

This neighborhood has changed but you can still go to the same iconic cafés, brasseries where all these artists and writers used to go, you’ll see beautiful building façades of the old time, the homes of some of these artists, the old art supplies shops and art academies, and you’ll feel the spirit of the Roaring 20s and of the following decades. Personally, this is my favorite Paris neighborhood (with Saint Germain des Prés)


Montparnasse cemetery is the final resting place of many of these artists. Man Ray, Soutine, Zatkine, Brancusi, Brassaï, Bourdelle … It’s also the cemetery where you’ll see the graves of Jean Seberg, Serge Gainsbourg, Marguerite Duras, Susan Sontag, César (the sculptor), Brassaï, Baudelaire, Guy de Maupassant, Bartholdi, Camille Saint Saens, Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, Constantin Brancusi Some of them were the illustrious residents of Montparnasse. Graves of writers, poets, artists, filmmakers, politicians, actors, publishers, patrons of industry…  Many graves of foreigners who have made France their home.

You’ll see unusual graves too, some with great funerary art (Niki de Saint Phalle, Tinguely, Cesar…)

Auguste Bartholdi's grave

Auguste Bartholdi’s grave

A huge but beautiful and peaceful : 

You can spend a few hours in Montparnasse cemetery, walking through the lanes. This place is worth a visit. It’s a huge cemetery (47 acres – 19 hectares, with about 40 000 graves, 750 trees and bushes), very peaceful with some fascinating graves. It’s divided into 2 cemeteries separated by a street  (rue Emile Richard) : on one side, the “grand cimetière” and on the other side,  the “Petit cimetière” . Btw : The main difference with Père Lachaise is that Montparnasse cemetery is flat. No slopes. Thus, you may find Montparnasse cemetery is less charming than the Père Lachaise, but It still a beautiful place with great funerary art work and great personalities’ graves

But the graves are tightly packed. Even though you’ll find a plan of the cemetery at the entrance to help you find the graves it’s quite difficult to get around and find some graves you want to see, .


Don’t hesitate to contact me. I can accompany you and help you find the graves you’re interested in (This walk can be added or included in the Montparnasse of the Roaring 20’s’ walking tour). More details about Ann Jeanne Paris tours and  Some details about the booking and pricing 

My personal link with Montparnasse cemetery : This is the final resting place of my father. Also where my piano teacher, who taught me (private lessons) the piano since I was 8 to the age of 22, rest. So to me, this cemetery is not like the others… And … it’s nearby my home and in neighborhood I particularly love. 

Some History :  The cemetery opened in 1824. after the cemeteries closer to the center of Paris, Moulin de la Charitéwere banned owing to sanitary problems. In the early 19th century Montmartre, the Père Lachaise and the Montparnasse cemetery replaced some small ones.

Before being a cemetery, the land of Montparnasse cemetery belonged to a religious community. There was a monastery on the place and an old flour mill. It became national property at the French Revolution (from 1789). The Monastery was pulled down, but the windmill, “Le Moulin de la Charité” was kept.

Practical details : Montparnasse cemetery : 3 boulevard Edgard Quinet – Paris 14  Metro stop : Edgard Quinet or Raspail. Main entrance : Boulevard Edgar Quinet – Opening Hours : March to November : 8.30 to 6pm (Sunday : 9am) November to March : 8 to 5.30pm (Sunday : 9am)

Unusual Gravestones : 

Le Chat : A polychrome cat by Niki de Saint Phalle. A 1,50 m tall masaic representing a cat for the tomb of her friend RicardoLe Chat by Nikki de Saint Phalle

L’Oiseau : a birdman by Niki de Saint PhalleL'oiseau

The statue of the “Génie du Sommeil Eternel” (Eternal Sleep) by the sculptor Horace Daillion in the center of the cemetary14092017-IMG_9758

Le Baiser : by the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi


Sculpture by Brancusi (“The Kiss”)

Pigeon Charles’s grave (1838 – 1915) : French inventor of a non-exploding gas lamp. Born in France in Normandy. A life size figures of Mr and Mrs Pigeon (fully clothed) lying in a bed. The bed forms the grave . 


The grave features Mr and Mrs Pigeon long on their bed

Some of the illustrious personalities (buried in Montparnasse cemetery)

Baudelaire (1821 – 1867): French poet born in Paris where he lived most of his life.  buried with his mother and step-father. Also a cenothaph dedicated to the poet.


Baudelaire’s grave

Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre :  leading figures of the Existentialist literary movement are buried together. Simone de Beauvoir (1907 – 1986) was a French writer, philosopher, and feminist. Best known for her work “The second Sex” (1949) which contained detailed analysis of women’s oppression. Jean Paul Sartre (1905 – 1980) was French writer, philosopher and critic. Best known for his writing : “Being and Nothingness”. He believed in the fundamental freedom of human beings and reflected ont the unbearable nature of that freedom. Major works : Nausea, Being and Nothingness (1943), the Words (1964)


Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir’s grave

Susan Sontag (1933 – 2004) : American author born in Manhattan. One of her more famous books was “Illness as Metaphor” (1978)08092017-IMG_9722


Chaïm Soutine (1893 – 1943) : Painter, born in Lithuania. He moved to Paris in 1911 and settled in Montparnasse district; He became famous after years of poverty in 1823 when Paul Barnes, a wealthy American cnollector bought 60 of his paintings at once. . He became known for his portraits of working-class people, still lifes and landscapes. As a Jew, at the start of WWII, he fled the Nazi occupation of France


Chaïm Soutine

Zadkine Ossip (1890 – 1967): Russian-born sculptor. There is a Museum dedicated to Zadkine’s work of art located in Montparnasse. This was the house and workshop where Ossip Zadkine major figure in the School of Paris, lived and worked from 1928 to 1967.  Zadkine Museum: 100 bis rue d’Assas – Paris 6


Man Ray (1890 – 1976) : Artist born in USA especially known as a photographer. He is acknowledged as one of the masters of the 20th century. He moved to Paris in 1921. He immortalized in many famous photographs the model Kiki de Montparnasse with who. In 1940 Ray fled the Nazi invasion and went to California. He returned to Paris in 1951


Man Ray

Marguerite Duras (1914 – 1996) :  French writer and film director, best known for her novel “The lover” (Prix Goncourt – 1984), which was made into a movie.


Marguerite Duras

Guy de Maupassant (1850 – 1893) :  French writer. He is considered one of the world’s great short-story writers. He wrote novels too. One of the best known : “Bel Ami”21092017-IMG_9922

Samuel Beckett (1906 – 1989): Irish Author, Playwright. novelist who spent most of his life in Paris (Paris 14), from 1937 and wrote in French after 1945 His best known work is the play “Waiting for Godot”08092017-IMG_9724

Ionesco Eugène (1912 – 1994) : French playwright. Known for his contribution to the theater of the absiurd. Two of his plays are  shown at the Theatre de la Huchette in Paris since 1957 without any interruption !. (“The Bald Soprano” and “The lesson”)

Antoine Bourdelle : (1861 – 1929) : French sculptor. One of the Pioneers of 20th century monumental sculpture. His home and studio where Antoine Bourdelle has been working from 1885 to 1929 is located 19 rue Antoine Bourdelle – Paris 15, and can be visited. 27092017-IMG_0017

Constantin Brancusi : (1876 – 1957) : Romanian sculptor, painter and photographer who made his career in France. He is considered as a pioneer of modernism and one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century, 14092017-IMG_9780

Brassaï (1899 – 1984) : Hungarian photojournalist, portraitist. He moved to Paris in 1918 and fell in love with the city. Hi is renowned for his photographic chronicles of the night.08092017-IMG_9720

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (1834 – 1904) : French sculptor most renowned for the Statue of Liberty. He designed his own grave.27092017-IMG_9994

César Baldaccini (1921 – 1998) : French sculptor, better known simply as César. He was at the forefront of the  Nouveau Réalisme movement with his radical compressions (compacted automobiles, discarded metal, or rubbish), expansions (polyurethane foam sculptures), and fantastic representations of animals and insects.14092017-IMG_9762

Camille Saint Saëns, (1835 – 1921) : composer, leading representative of French Romantic music. His most popular piece is “The Carnival of the Animals” (1886)

Jacques demy, Eric Rohmer, Claude Sautet, filmmakers

Serge gainsbourg (1928 – 1991) : Songwriter, singer and film maker : one of the most visited graves in Montparnasse. His grave is often covered with different objects which are references to some of his songs : a cabbage (for his LP called “L’homme à la tête de chou”, a metro ticket for his song called “Le Poinçonneur des Lilas”, or cigarettes’ buts because he was smoking a lot and also wrote a song called “Dieu est un fumeur de Havane”.14092017-IMG_9756

Jean Seberg, (1938 – 1979) :  American actress who played in “Breathless” (1959) (director Jean-Luc Godard). 27092017-IMG_0005




Even with the help of a map, it’s quite difficult to find the graves you’re looking for. Don’t hesitate to contact me : A visit of Montparnasse cemetery can be included (or added) in the Montparnasse walking tour (= “The Roaring 20’s ) Share my Paris, the Paris I love. I welcome you, I accompany you and we walk at your pace. Half a day or a whole day with a native including a break in a very Parisian cafe. It’s a cross cultural experience in Paris and a way to see Paris in a Parisian perspective.

Ann Jeanne in Paris’ private tours are designed for one or two persons. A friendly and personal experience of Paris. I was born and raised in Paris. Paris is city where I live.


More details about Ann Jeanne Paris tours Don’t hesitate to contact me

And  : Some details about the booking and pricing 


More photos of Montparnasse Cemetery



Practical details : Montparnasse cemetery : 3 boulevard Edgard Quinet – Paris 14  Metro stop : Edgard Quinet or Raspail. Main entrance : Boulevard Edgar Quinet – Opening Hours : March to November : 8.30 to 6pm (Sunday : 9am) November to March : 8 to 5.30pm (Sunday : 9am) profil-paris-avec-oiseaux

Hemingway and Fitzgerald

Mode-des-années-20-1Montparnasse  : the spirit of the beginning of the 20th century.

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita

The heart of Montparnasse is more specifically, the area around Vavin Metro StopSituation de Montparnasse ds Paris.09

Montparnasse often gets bypassed when visitors come to Paris. At first sight : not a touristic place, no highlight spots, nor renown buildings. But culturally, it is a central neighborhood, rich by its history. And a very Parisian and nice place to live in. 

Montparnasse is loved by so many Parisians … and unfortunatly missed by so many visitors…  !

Surely a neighborhood where to find the spirit from the beginning of the 20th century. A wonderful mix of new and old.  An area where you have the feeling of a real neighborhood. And without hesitation, the area where I would choose and love to live if I had to move (unless I chose Saint Germain des Prés !).

Location : Montparnasse is located on the Left Bank of the river Seine and covers parts of the 5th, 6th,14th and 15th arrondissements. It’s bordered by the Luxembourg garden to its north. 

LeDome3Some history 

Montparnasse reached its heyday in the 1920s and 30s, between WWI and WWII. Montparnasse became the heart of intellectual and artistic life in Paris. It’s called “Les Années Folles” (= the Roaring 20s”).  and Vavin (Metro Stop : Vavin) was the center of the neighborhood.

Many artists came from Montmartre to settle there in search of low rents (lodging and workshops). 

Others from around the world (from Europe, including Russia and Ukraine, from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, central and South America, and Japan) came to stay in Montparnasse, looking for a place they could freely work and create. Between 1921 and 1924, the number of Americans in Paris swelled from 6000 to 30000. 

Le Dome in 1930 by Kertsz

Le Dome in 1930 by Kertsz

Some of the artists in Montparnasse in the 20s and 30s

I’ll take you where Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald first met.

Hemingway and Fitzgerald

Hemingway and Fitzgerald

Painters, writers, sculptors, poets, photographers, composers... And most of the Paris artistic community settled in Montparnasse neighborhood.

Pablo Picasso, Samuel Beckett, Joan Miro, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Tsugouharu Foujita, Diego Rivera, Modigliani, Guillaume Apollinaire, Salvatore Dali, Man Ray, Marc Chagall, Eric Satie, Zadkine, Degas, Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Henri Miller, George Braque, Jean Cocteau, Chaim Soutine, Blaise Cendrars, Fernand Léger, André Breton, Giacometti, Dos Passos…

In Montparnasse are the iconic cafés of the Roaring 20’s (and of the following decades too !)

Those which were the haunts of so many artists and writers such as Hemingway, Picasso, Fitzgerald, Desnos, Sartre, Beauvoir, Miller, Anaïs Nin, Braque… They frequented the cafés along Boulevard Montparnasse, such as La Closerie des Lilas, La Rotonde (photo above), Le Dôme (photos below), Le Select, La Coupole…

La Closerie des Lilas

La Closerie des Lilas


La Rotonde

Le Dome

Le Dôme

Café Le Select TB

Le Select in the 20s

Beautiful architecture : 


La Closerie des Lilas

La Closerie des Lilas


Wallace Fountain - Rue Vavin

Welcoming and historic cafés


La Rotonde



Le Vavin

DSC_6129Kiki de Montparnassethe Montparnasse’s muse. She was the model of many artists : Man Ray, Fujita, Modigliani… She was the lover of Man Ray.

Kiki par Man Ray

Kiki by Man Ray

Nowadays, young students from around the world, come around the art supplies shops and arts academy of the rue de la Grande Chaumière. 

Traditionnaly, Montparnasse is also “home” to Parisians coming from Brittany (Western France), because trains from Montparnasse station travels back and forth to Brittany. 

More recently, since the 70s, Montparnasse neighborhood has become more upscale and many old ateliers have been converted into upscale housing. Nowadays. But the cafés of the 20s and many others, restaurants, many crêperies (as crêpes are traditionally a Breton meal… !) still there

profil-paris-avec-oiseauxMy personal story linked to Montparnasse :


Ann Jeanne

Many Breton people came to settle in Paris from the mid 19th century to the 1960s.This is what my Breton grand Parents did in the 30s. They came from Brittany when they were very young (one of my grand father came on his own, knowing nobody in Paris and around… and he was only…. 13…. didn’t speak very well French and was feeling so lonely when he arrived….)

My 2 grand mothers and 2 grand fathers came from Brittany by train, arrived at Montparnasse train station and lived the rest of their lives in Paris

I live 10 minutes walk from the heart of Montparnasse and I’ve been studying during my secondary school years in Montparnasse. This is a place where I very often go : to the cinema, to meet friends, to read at one of the iconic cafés (or less renown cafes) or to eat buckwheat pancakes. This is the place where I used to dance Breton dances very regularly a few decades ago (Remember : Montparnasse is the Breton neighborhood of Paris !)

Walk in the footsteps of the great artists and writers with Ann Jeanne in Paris. Don’t hesitate to contact me !

profil-paris-avec-oiseauxMore photos at the bottom of this page

Boulevard Montparnasse

Boulevard Montparnasse – La Rotonde in the background



This is Montparnasse too !

My advice :

  • Get out at the Metro Stop Vavin (not Metro Stop : Montparnasse) which is the center of the real Montparnasse neighborhood. 
  • Enjoy a drink at “La Coupole” or at the café “Le Vavin” (rue de Vavin) to let you have a feeling of a real neighborhood. 
  • Rue Vavin (a small and short street), you’ll find one of the best Paris “Chocolatier” (Jean Paul Hevin). Also nice small shops. 
  • After your Montparnasse visit, you can enjoy the Luxembourg garden, just nearby (end of rue de Vavin)
  • You can choose to have a nice meal (pricey) at Le Select, Le Dome (for fish meals), or a nice restaurant in a small street rue Jules Chaplain. 
  • Lots of crêperies rue de Montparnasse for a nice meal (cheaper) and delicious. 





profil-paris-avec-oiseauxMeet the soul of Montparnasse with Ann Jeanne in Paris, 


Ann Jeanne

Walk in the footsteps of the great artists and writers who first found inspiration there : Hemingway, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Modigliani, Man Ray, Picasso, Modigliani,…  You’ll see the place where Hemingway and Fitzgerald first met, the place where Hemingway wrote “The Sun also rises”, some  the streets where most of the theaters and cabarets of the area were located (some are still there), the art supply shops and academies of art where the artists used to go, the iconic cafés of the 20’s and of the following decades (still very renown and appreciated cafes-brasseries), the place where you can enjoy the best crêpes of Paris, one of the best and chic art fair of the left bank (depends on the day of the visit), a very lively open market (depends on the day of your visit), wonderful building façades.

Private walking tours : You only, or you and the person you choose. I’ll show you around in Montparnasse. Don’t hesitate to contact me   

Montparnasse is one of my most favorite neighborhoods. This is the neighborhood where I’ve been studying several years at the secondary school, the neighborhood where I’ve always loved meeting my friends, going to cafes. So many wonderful cafes which such a great history…     

Nearby Notre Dame

YOUR Private walk, with Ann Jeanne in Paris, native Parisian

  • Feel like a Parisian ! No lectures, but an encounter, and a personal and intimate walk while you share the Paris I love and see places you may not have seen on your own. See Paris in another perspective and know more about Paris lifestyle and daily life too

CONTACT me for a private walking tour and EXPERIENCE PARIS like a true Parisian

  • You only, or you and the person you choose.
  • Duration of the tour : half day tour or full day tour, but it can be adjusted to your wishes It includes a coffee in an authentic Paris cafe. The tours can be customized according to your preferences and interests For more details : The tours – Booking and Pricing – Don’t hesitate to contact me


Nearby the Luxembourg garden




A Florist in Montparnasse


Montparnasse - FacadeMore details :

  • Close access to major centers (a few minutes walks to Luxembourg garden, 15-20 minutes walk to Saint Germain des Prés and the Latin Quarter, 15 minutes by subway to the Eiffel Tower, lots of restaurants, an open market 3 days per week, many cafés (La Rotonde, Le Select, Le Dome, La Coupole…)
  • The renown Montparnasse cemetery (the second largest burial ground in Paris) : graves of many of the neighborhood’s most illustrious residents (Baudelaire, Beckett, Bartholdi – (who designed the Statue of Liberty), Maupassant, Man Ray, Samuel Beckett, Sartre, Beauvoir, Jean Seberg, Ionesco, Saint Saëns, Satie, Soutine, Zadkine, – Entrance on Bd Edgar Quinet – Paris 14 – Metro Stop : Edgar Quinet
  • La Closerie des Lilas : a Left Bank institution – A chic Piano Bar with a bronze plaque with Hemingway’s name. a Brasserie and a restaurant (pricey).  An article about Closerie des Lilas coming up soon. – 171 boulevard Montparnasse – Paris 6 – Metro Stop : Port Royal or Bus n°38 – Vavin (5 minutes walk)
  • Edgar Quinet Market : An excellent street Market every Wednesday and Saturday (fresh food and clothes). A crafts market on Sundays. – Boulevard Edgar Quinet – Paris 14
  • Bourdelle Museum :  a heaven of peace for lovers of art, sculpting. museum dedicated to the life and works of the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. – Metro Stop : Montparnasse
  • La Fondation Cartier for exhibitions of contemporary art (a building designed by Jean Nouvel)
  • Numerous crêperies in the neighborhood (Metro stop : Vavin or Montparnasse) : a nice and affordable break (salted wheat flour crêpes and sweet crêpes). Crêpes = thin pancakes.