• LOCATION 28 | Highlights Around Parc Montsouris: From Hidden Water to Secret Villages

    21 rue Gazan

    21 rue Gazan on Paris audio tour Highlights Around Parc Montsouris: From Hidden Water to Secret Villages

    When walking past number 21, on the same side of the street as Coluche's house, you’ll understand why Marie-Thérèse Auffray moved in here. See these tall green windows with plenty of light to paint? Now think of the number of lives that were saved through her and her partner’s resistance work. She did receive a thank you note from President Eisenhower for saving GIs, but the postwar period was harder for her. Her paintings in the late 40s and 50s evolved towards a harsher style, making fun of the negative aspects of French society. She was very active in exhibits, wrote manifestos and essays about painting. In 1959 Noëlle, the love of her life, passed away. In the 1960s her nightclub in Normandy was vandalized, and in the 1970s she fell ill and couldn’t work anymore. She had to sell the workshop and home that you just walked past. She died in 1990 in Normandy, refusing to sell her work piecemeal for commercial reasons. Her paintings were scattered at auctions after her death, and now an association called MTA is working to collect as many of them as possible.

    At the opposite end of the wealth and food spectrum of both Coluche and MTA, to your right is the Pavillon Montsouris, a rather posh restaurant embedded in the park. If you want to dine with a view on an empty park, just ask for a table on the terrace after Parc Montsouris closing hours. During heat waves, like today in the spirit of Paris, the park doesn’t close at all, so you can bring your own picnic and enjoy the grassy slopes for free.

    Keep walking until the end of the building block to your left, and you’ll see a park entrance to your right. We’re still not going in the park, too obvious! Prepare to turn left instead, towards a strange fence with apparently nothing behind it.

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Highlights Around Parc Montsouris: From Hidden Water to Secret Villages