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Left Bank

From Academic Kids

fr:Rive gauche

For the musical group, see Left Banke.

The left bank of a river is the bank on the left when looking in the direction of flow towards the sea.


The Left Bank (Rive Gauche) is most commonly associated with the Seine in central Paris. Here the river flows roughly westwards, cutting the city into two halves; the Right Bank, to the north, and the Left Bank, to the south.

Though, technically, the Left Bank also comprises the 13th and 14th arrondissements, in general it means the 5th, 6th and 7th districts, symbols of French intellectualism.

The Left Bank is one of the city's most romantic districts. This is the Paris of another era, the Paris of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and dozens of other members of the great artistic community at Montparnasse.

More than simply a geographical region, the Left Bank has become a name for a particular style of life, fashion, or "look". Some of its famous streets are the Boulevards Saint Germain des Prés, Saint Michel, and the Rue d'Ulm.

The Latin Quarter is a Left Bank region in the 5th arrondissement so named because it has been the center of Paris' university life for over seven hundred years.

Left Bank Books is one of the US's longest-running, cooperatively-owned and run anarchist bookstores. Located at 92 Pike Street in Seattle, Washington.

Compare with Right Bank for additional facts about Paris.

Reference

  • Lottman, Herbert R. The Left Bank: Writers, Artists, and Politics from the Popular Front to the Cold War. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982. ISBN 0395313228. ISBN 096228744X. ISBN 0226493687.
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