In the 17th century, the students chased away from the ‘Pré-au-Clercs’ by queen Margot, make it their favourite domain and came here to recite verses. The student gives to this wild place the antique name of the Mountain Parnassus, the sacred stay of Apollo and the Muses.
Dominated by the Montparnasse tower, the highest of Paris, the district is full of creperies and restaurant chains who took the step on the famous cafes of former days. The general atmosphere is casual, in the evenings between friends, and in the discovery of the last exclusive film.
Jardin des Plantes
Since 1926, the institution was called ‘Royal Garden of Healing Plants’. But a decree in 1793 changed its name to "National Museum of Natural History", known today under the name of ‘Jardin des Plantes’ (garden of plants).
Situated in the heart of an ancient district of Paris, essentially academic, the ‘Jardin des Plantes’ gets you a draft of oxygen, while remaining a place of learning and discovery. Numerous museums are also settled there.
Parc de Montsouris
This English garden is the work of Adolphe Alphand, supervised by Haussmann (1878). It was created at instigation of Napoleon III, who then wanted to endow each of the cardinal points of Paris with a green space. The name of Montsouris is said to originate from ‘Moque Souris’. It evokes ancient times, where the mills of Bièvre decayed and where this place was not inhabited anymore than by rodents.
The Montsouris Park is the students residing in the nearby campus favourite place of relaxation, who enjoy lounging on public lawns in good weather. Its landscape is punctuated with numerous bronze or stone sculptures. The park is dominated by the prime line of the Paris Observatory, which marks the passage of the former meridian of Paris. From May to September, you can linger in the bandstand: you will certainly be able to listen to one of the numerous concerts which are given here.
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