A study of both the banks of the river Seine tells a story about the city’s transformation, and how the focus has shifted from one bank to the other over time.
For instance, there was a time when the Right bank was thought to be the place to visit and stay, because this was where the wealthy people lived. And though the creative soul of Paris lived and worked on the Left Bank, it was thought to be more chaotic. But that changed with time as the real estate values of properties started to skyrocket on the Left Bank too. Fashionable boutiques, businesses, and cafes started to be set up here. The Right bank lost some of its fame.
Most guidebooks even today say that it is the Left Bank which is the more fashionable part of the city. But that has changed again. Many a Parisian trendsetter have quit the Left Bank in recent times and moved to the Right side of the river. Perhaps this is due again to demographic shifts in favor of cheaper rent attracting the creative crowds and the new hubs of nightlife and intelligentsia springing up as a result.
The Left Bank, however, continues to be known as the “La Rive Gauche”, and even today, it is referred to as the artistic section of Paris. Though the word “Gauche” is also associated with anything that is unsophisticated and awkward, the fact is the Left Bank is anything but. The Left Bank was once the home of Hemingway, Matisse and Picasso. It was also the home of many starving artists, many of whom were extraordinarily talented, and could have left their own mark easily. If you are in Paris, you won’t want to miss the Left bank.
Perhaps the Left Bank is more significant to what Paris is today, and why it has grown to become such a popular city among tourists who come from all over the world. Life here still reflects so much of Paris’ bygone years, and so, this is where many people are able to connect with the past, the history of the city.
On the Left side of the river you will find some world famous attractions such as: the world famous Eiffel Tower and the Musee d’Orsay, the Latin quarter, Boulevard Saint-Germain, the Musee de Cluny, the Odeon Theatre, Montparnasse Cemetery, Musee Rodin, the Saint-Sulpice Church, the Luxembourg Gardens and many others.