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The Littré hotel, a Montparnasse train station hotel located in a historic district of Paris

  • 13/01/2023

 

The hotel le Littré, located a few meters from the Montparnasse train station, is the starting point for your Parisian escapades. Between the Montparnasse and Saint-Germain-des-Prés districts, it is the ideal place to spend a comfortable night and enjoy a delicious breakfast before setting off to discover the capital or start your seminar.

Discover the Gare Montparnasse area, the home of the Hotel Littré, a typically Parisian neighborhood full of stories and anecdotes where the passage of intellectuals has deeply marked the history of literature and the city.

 

A little history on the Montparnasse district or the “Mont Parnasse”

In fact, young Parisian artists from the Paris Montparnasse train station area meeting at the foot of a hill to recite their poems in the 1920s are actually the origin of the name Montparnasse. The name refers to a Greek mountain over 2000 meters high, overlooking the city of Delphi, a symbol of Greek mythology. The city was a real place of worship of the god Apollo and the nine muses during Antiquity. The notion of height is thus the key word of the district with the famous Montparnasse Tower. 

 

A hotel between the Montparnasse train station and Saint Germain des Prés : a place of cosmopolitan meetings 

In the 1920s, the Montparnasse station district became the “center of the world”. Between bars, traditional brasseries, bookshops, intellectuals mingle. The bistros became a place of exchange, debate and disagreement that could end at dusk. The artists are an integral part of the decor of the Montparnasse district, and their works become their currency. Victor Libion, manager of La Rotonde, one of the most popular brasseries in the neighborhood, let artists sleep on the benches and gave them bread in exchange for their works.

Poets, novelists, painters, and politicians gave the Montparnasse station district the reputation of a place of artistic effervescence. Apollinaire wrote: “In Montparnasse, on the contrary, we now find the real artists dressed in American style”. Today, tourists from all over the world come to see the remnants of the artistic Montparnasse. And Le Littré, a hotel just a stone’s throw from the Montparnasse train station, welcomes them with great pleasure. We are particularly pleased to welcome each year many Brazilians who appreciate our central hotel.

Our hotel close to the Montparnasse station, a hotel in the center of culture 

Close to the Montparnasse train station, the Littré Paris hotel is surrounded by cinemas, theaters and bistros to discover the charm of Parisian evenings. The cultural offer around the Montparnasse train station is rich thanks to its museums, monuments and places to walk: Paris Montparnasse – Top of the City, the Montparnasse cemetery, the Bourdelle museum, the Catacombs or the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art. 

Today, the bistros near the Montparnasse station hotel – La Rotonde, Le Select, La Coupole, and La Closerie des Lilas – are remnants of the artistic tumult of the 1920s and of traditional French culture and gastronomy. 

“Whichever café in Montparnasse you ask a driver from the right bank to take you to, he will take you to La Rotonde,” wrote Ernest Hemingway in The Sun Rises in 1926. As for the Closerie des Lilas brasserie, it was frequented by Hemingway, Miller, and Fitzgerald who had the manuscript of Gatsby the Magnificent read.

The cinema in the heart of the neighborhood around our Montparnasse station hotel 

The heart of the neighborhood became a source of inspiration for writers, novelists, poets, painters, but also directors. Montparnasse 19, also known as Les Amants de Montparnasse: a film produced by Franco London Film tells the story of life in the neighborhood around the Montparnasse station in the years 1919-1920, in the aftermath of the war through the tumultuous life of Modigliani. The love and passion for painting, alcohol, his meeting with his girlfriend Jeanne are staged in an artistic Montparnasse that reveals the talent of the famous Italian. Rebellious and of a protesting spirit, he refuses to barter his art for money. This will lead inexorably to his tragic end. It is today one of the cult films that list the artists of the XXth century parnassian. 

 

A little trip down memory lane: the construction of the Montparnasse station

Built in an art deco style by the French architect and designer Henri Pacon, the Montparnasse train station has become the 4th largest train station in France, welcoming more than 53 million travelers. It is the arrival point for many businessmen and women who come to attend or organize the trade shows and exhibitions at the Porte de Versailles. The main lines are at the terminus of the Montparnasse train station, five minutes from the Littré hotel. 

The Montparnasse train station is the hub of French and international tourist destinations and is a monument to technical and artistic progress. The station was notably presented during the Universal Exhibition, a historic event that aims to present the greatest innovations of the country that welcomes visitors from around the world.

The construction of the Montparnasse station has evolved over the centuries. In the 1800s, two lines were built, one of which served the terminus: Gare Saint Lazare, the station that inspired Monet for his impressionist paintings. The second line served the former barrier of Maine, called Versailles Rive Gauche. It later experienced technical and financial difficulties, forcing its reconstruction between the barrière du Maine and the boulevard Montparnasse. 

In 1902, the Invalides station was built in order to unload the Montparnasse station, with the station itself as the terminus. This station provided long-distance traffic until 1935. The Montparnasse station saw thousands of travelers pass through. Moreover, the traffic coming from the suburbs exploded, so new tracks were opened in order to accommodate the maximum number of people and have a maximum flow of passengers in better conditions.