Arrondissements: 6, 14 and 15
Numbers 99, 102, 103, 108, 126, 132, 142, 159, 171
The boulevard du Montparnasse crosses three arrondissements. The odd numbers on the north side are all in the 6th; the even numbers from 2 to 66 are in the 15th; and from number 68 onwards the addresses are all in the 14th. It was named with reference to the Greek residence of the muses by 17th century students after a tiny hillock in the area.
One excellent source on the left in Paris, the website Parisrévolutionnaire suggests that both Lenin and Trotsky were at the Dôme in 1905. Hazan (IOP), however, insists the Dôme… should never have been allowed to call itself the café of Trotsky and Kertész.
What is certainly true is that in the early years of the 19th century, the Dôme at No 108 became a major intellectual centre, and attracted many left political and artistic people.
Pablo Picasso as well as Modigliani, Utrillo and Apollinaire all drank or ate at le Dôme (No. 108) and la Rotonde (No. 103). The owner of La Rotonde was denounced by Aragon on July 13 1923 for having been a police informer on Lenin before World War One. Other neighbouring well-frequented intellectual and artist cafes of the interwar years included la Coupole (No. 102-104) and le Select (No. 99) .
The wounded black Foreign Legion corporal, Eugene Bullard, is reported as having decided while at the Coupole in the Spring of 1916, to become a pilot in the French air force.
Diego Rivera was also part of this leftish Montparnasse scene in the early 20th century.
From 1865 to 1866, after the publication of his first novel, Émile Zola lived in a room at No. 142.
In the 1920s Le Dôme became a meeting place for many English-language writers like Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis and Sylvia Beach. In 1924 John Dos Passos joined other American writers at No. 171 the La Closerie des Lilas bar.
At the eastern end of the Boulevard near the Port Royal, this famous restaurant is where in June 1941 Simone De Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre organised a clandestine ‘Socialism and Freedom’ meeting of about 50 intellectuals, including Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Yet in the face of increasing repression they did not do much more, and in September 1941 Sartre agreed to take the job of a secondary school teacher who had been fired for being Jewish.
Hemingway was also known to eat frequently in the years 1924-1926 at the Le Nègre de Toulouse restaurant at No 159.
Louis Aragon met Mayakovsky for the first time at the Coupole on November 5 1928. The Coupole was requisitioned between 1940 and 1944 for German-only events
Earlier, under the Second Empire that he satirised so brilliantly, Émile Zola lived at No 142 in 1865 to 1866.