Weekend in Paris: the Latin Quarter and Saint Germain des Pres
“There is nothing more after Saint Germain des Prés” sang Juliette Greco. At a time when everyone in Paris would go to the Café de Flore and the Deux-Magots. From the Sorbonne to the famous cafes, a stroll in the intellectuals’ and celebrities’ Paris.
Sorbonne & Jardin du Luxembourg
We cannot begin in the Latin Quarter without starting with the famous Sorbonne University, which was originally the college founded in 1253 by Robert Sorbon. The college finally gave its name to the University of Paris and since the thirteenth century became a cultural and scientific center radiating throughout Europe. Feel free to cross the university gates to admire the beautiful facades and frescoes of the court of honor.
For lunch, you can follow the flow of students. A sandwich in hand, they are headed towards the Luxembourg Gardens. If you want a coolness, you can opt for the fountain near the Senate or you can wander in the English gardens with their little corners away from the crowd, ideal for reading in the shade of tall trees. Can also admire the sculptures of the nineteenth and twentieth century, a veritable outdoor museum.
Fountain St. Michel
The perfect meeting area, the Saint-Michel fountain remains the emblem of the Latin Quarter. Haussmann decided in 1858 to build a fountain inspired by the majestic fountains of Trevi and Medici from the Luxembourg Gardens to make the junction between the new boulevard Saint-Michel and the Place St. Andre des Arts. you can see Saint Michel slaying the Devil and two dragons below.
Saint-Severin, one of the oldest neighborhoods of Paris, it is now mostly animated by Greek restaurants and fashion boutiques, it retains its medieval layout and has a few historic treasures ; i.e the church of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, which stands in the shadow of more oldest tree in Paris (planted in 1620) and the Saint-Séverinaux beautiful stained glass windows. The two churches are amongst the oldest of Paris.
You can also enjoy a jazz concert at Caveau de la Huchette, formerly the meeting place of Templars ; in the 1950s it became the temple of jazz.
Caveau de la Huchette
5, rue de la Huchette 75005 PARIS
Website - http://www.caveaudelahuchette.fr/
Saint Germain des Prés
With Saint-Pierre de Montmartre, Saint Germain des Prés is one of oldest churches in Paris. Many statues are kept inside the nave and contains murals painted by Hippolyte Flandrin in 1846.
Founded in 1852 and described by Zola’s novel ‘Au Bonheur des Dames‘, ‘Le Bon Marché‘ is the first department store in Paris. We go there for decorations as well as for the ‘chic’ shopping session.
Ideal literary place ; the cafes of Saint Germain des Prés have been the hosts of many artists, writers, intellectuals and celebrities. Amongst these popular meeting places of intellectuals, stop at the ‘Café des Deux-Magots’ or at ‘Café de Flore’, formerly frequented by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
Close to the Boulevard Saint-Germain, discover the first café of Paris, Le Procope (1686). Voltaire, Danton, Robespierre and others were regulars there. The café has now become a restaurant.
Jardin des Plantes
Very popular with families, the Jardin des Plantes is the successor to the Royal garden of medicinal plants created by Louis the 13th in 1635. Don’t miss the large greenhouses reopened to the public in 2010 that allows you to explore our planet’s plant biodiversity, from tropical to arid conditions. And to conclude the visit, don’t forget the National Museum of Natural Histoiry and the Great Gallery of Evolution.
Every year, gardeners share their expertise on the occasion of meetings that take place from April to October in the Jardin des Plantes.
Fontaines du Luxembourg - 4, Rue de Vaugirard 75006 Paris
Albe hotel - 1, Rue de la Harpe 75005 Paris
Villa Saint Germain - 29, Rue Jacob 75006 Paris
The Five - 3, Rue Flatters 75005 Paris
Delavigne – 1, Rue Casimir Delavigne 75006 Paris