“Around and About Paris” – Montparnasse (Romantically Picturesque)

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Paris, by Michelle Schwartzbauer

“Around Montparnasse” a journey into the depths of Paris the magnificent: city of romance and drama, of triumph and tragedy, of farce and grandeur, of crime and passion—above all, Paris the city of contradictions, of myths and of change, from the book Around and About Paris, volume one, by Thirza Vallois (used by permission).

Continual waves of newcomers have come to Paris in search of livelihood, spiritual nourishment or political shelter. As the population of the city grew and craved elbow space, they helped bring down its successive walls—from those started by Philippe Auguste (Philip Augustus) in 1190 to those built by Adolphe Thiers between 1841 and 1844 and were demolished in 1919—always pushing out the boundaries of Paris farther from its original nucleus, the Ile de la Cité.

‘Ce n’est pas Paris tout a fait;
Ce n’est pas non plus la campagne;
Et le soir, lorsque l’ombre gagne,
On ne sait pas trop où l’on est.’

This is not exactly Paris
Nor is this the country;
And in the evening, when dusk encroaches,
One does not quite know where one is.

– Rosemonde Gérard Continue reading

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