La Cité Fleurie

Art Studio in Montparnasse & Southern Paris

Venture east from Montparnasse along bd Arago, past the eery La Santé Prison (the most infamous prison in French history after La Bastille, dating to 1867 and boasting the city's last-standing, dark-green public urinal from 1834 in front), and you come to this romantic cluster of 19th-century artist workshops. The 30-odd half-timbered cottages, laced with quaint cobbled pathways and overgrown gardens, were built in 1878 using building materials from a disassembled pavilion from Paris' Universal Exhibition.

The workshops open their doors to the public once a year, during the Lézarts de la Bièvre ( on the 2nd weekend in June, which sees artist workshops all over the 13e and 15e arrondissement welcome visitors.