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Paris' 14th & 15th Arrondissements

Paris’ 14th & 15th Arrondissements are known for being a former favorite of Paris’ tight knit American community. Although in recent years it has lost some of its popularity, it remains a nice place to find a Paris left bank apartment. The 14th is also known as the “arrondissement de l’observatoire” as it houses the Paris observatory, one of the largest centers for astronomy in the world.  Although it doesn’t have a name, the 15th is the most populous arrondissement in all of Paris.  The most prominent and well-known area is Montparnasse, which encompasses a large portion of the two districts.  The streets below the towering and comparatively modern Tour Montparnasse are lined with a number of much more classical establishments giving the area a truly unique and somewhat bizarre look.

Whether you’re staying in a hotel in the Latin Quarter or a short term Paris rental in Marais, Tour Montparnasse stands alone as Paris’ only skyscraper and a modern landmark for the area as a whole.  Historically, Montparnasse has been a center for art and intellectualism and was a haven for many well-known Americans who fled the United States in the 1920’s.  Some of the bars and brasseries under the Tour along Boulevard Montparnasse are famous for being favorites of the likes of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Many North American tourists staying in Paris vacation rentals in the nearby area will visit Le Dome, La Coupole or La Rotonde looking to get a feel for what life might have been like for these famous Americans.   

Although the 14th  & 15th arrondissements don’t spark the most interest amongst tourists, many visitors to Paris will unintentionally pass through the area via one of Paris’ biggest train stations, Gare Montparnasse.  Or, for those interested in history, or more appropriately historical people, many of France’s most famous are all found in the Montparnasse Cemetery and in the catacombs of Place Denfert Rochereau.  Despite the apparent morbidity of this attraction, the catacombs especially are extremely popular with tourists.  The carved out underground passageways actually span for miles, but only a small section is actually open to the public.

As a whole, the permanent residences and Paris apartment rentals in the area are reasonably priced with the majority of the area being middle to upper class, but there is also a significant university population.  The Cite Universitaire at Porte d’Orleons is located in the southern area of the 14th and houses a large population of international students.   For tourists who would rather not be amongst the college age population, the north end of the 14th & 15, or any Paris vacation apartment rental in the 6th or 7th Arrondissement would be highly recommended.