Rue de la Gaîté

By Martin | February 22, 2012 | Filed under: Montparnasse, Streets

Meaning “street of gaiety,” Rue de la Gaîté was at the end of the country road leading from Clamart to the gate of Montparnasse. The street stood outside the old wall, which still remains nearby at Place Denfert-Rochereau. Taverns were standing outside the wall to avoid paying taxes, particularly on the wine.

In 1860 Emile de Labédollière wrote the following about Rue de la Gaîté:
“Near these walls we go into a sort of land of plenty: a long street, which extends to the fifteenth district, called the Rue de la Gaîté. Balls, restaurants, nightclubs abound, and in the evening, the crowd gathers at the doors of theaters”.

The street is still lined with cabarets and music-hall theatres that date back to the of 19th century Paris. Most famous of them are “Bobino” at no 20, the Montparnasse Theater opened in 1818, and the Comedie Italienne.

“the heart of bohemian Paris”

“the Paris of Henry Miller and Ernest Hemingway, Doisneau and Brassai”

The theaters in Rue de la Gaite are:

  • Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse
  • Théâtre Montparnasse
  • Théâtre du Petit Montparnasse
  • Bobino
  • La Comédie italienne
  • Théâtre Rive Gauche

Other theaters around Rue de la Gaite:

  • Le Guichet Montparnasse (rue du Maine)
  • Le Petit Journal Montparnasse (Rue du Commandant-René-Mouchotte)
  • Théâtre d’Edgar (boulevard Edgar Quinet)

Rue de la Gaite is accessible from metro stations Gaîté and Edgar Quinet.


See more photos:


Tags: art, bohemian, Brassai, cabarets, cafes, culture, Doisneau, Gaite, Hemingway, Montparnasse, music-hall, nightlife, paris, restaurants, theaters

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