"Rive Gauche" literally means "left bank" and refers to the southern arrondissements of Paris, whose natural border is the Seine River. The Seine bifurcates the city of Paris into north and south areas. The Ile de la Cite, located between the left and right banks of the Seine,harbored the original settlement by the tribe known as the Parisii in the 3rd century BC. Paris only sprawled south and north of the Seine beginning in the Middle Ages. See more on Paris history to learn more about the development of the city.
Well-known Rive Gauche monuments and places: These include the Eiffel Tower, the Musee d'Orsay, the Musee Rodin, the Sorbonne University and the Latin Quarter, Luxembourg Gardens, and the formerly arty area known as Saint-Germain-des-Pres. The Rive Gauche encompasses the 5th arrondissement, 6th arrondissement, 7th arrondissement, 13th arrondissement, 14th arrondissement and 15th arrondissement.
Reputation of the Rive Gauche: The generally affluent Rive Gauche, which was long home to artists, students and intellectuals, has seen enormous gentrification following World War II and is now considered a posh and quiet area. Some accuse it of lacking the authenticity and vibrancy of the Rive Droite (Right Bank) since many of Paris' most famed tourist attractions and neighborhoods are found on the left bank and are carefully preserved for visitors. The area is still a major intellectual center thanks to its many universities and research hubs, and is also a prime location for luxury goods and fashion.