Montparnasse (literally the "Mount of Parnassus") is the evocative name of the neighborhood bordering the Luxembourg Gardens, straddling the 6th, 14th and 15th arrondissements and extending to the edge of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. It derives its originality from the many artists who have settled here.
The opening of the Montparnasse Cemetery, laid out around an old windmill in 1824 and now the final resting place of more than a hundred famous figures, led to the arrival of craftsmen and sculptors of funerary art. Later they were followed by artists from the Ecole de Paris, including Picasso, Foujita, Soutine and Modigliani, to name just a few.
The cafés of Boulevard Montparnasse, like the Dôme, the Sélect and La Coupole, have become legends today, evoking the literary and intellectual past of an area that became a popular refuge for artists and thinkers in the nineteen-twenties.
In the sixties the neighborhood was modernized with the expansion of the railway station and the construction of Montparnasse Tower with its adjoining shopping center.