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- The Latin Quarter of Paris ( French: Quartier latin, IPA: [kaʁtje latɛ̃]) is an area in the 5th and the 6th arrondissements of Paris. It is situated on the left bank of the Seine, around the Sorbonne .
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- Paris, 75005, Ile-de-France
The Latin Quarter of Paris (French: Quartier latin, IPA: [kaʁtje latɛ̃]) is an area in the 5th and the 6th arrondissements of Paris.It is situated on the left bank of the Seine, around the Sorbonne.
- Explore the St-Michel District and Seine-Side Quays. Quai Saint-Michel, 75005 Paris, France. The area around Metro St. Michel is the easiest gateway to the Latin Quarter.
- Browse at Shakespeare & Company Bookshop. 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France. Phone +33 1 43 25 40 93. Web Visit website. You may have noticed that this entire district is something of a book lover's dream: From the open-air booksellers with their famed green metal stalls on the Seine to the aforementioned French mega-bookstores on Place St-Michel, you'll easily find a worthwhile tome.
- Admire the Old Sorbonne University. 75005 Paris, France. The Sorbonne is a Parisian badge of pride as one of Europe's oldest colleges— it opened in 1257 as part of the medieval Université de Paris.
- Soak in Medieval Art at the Musée Cluny. 28 Rue du Sommerard, 75005 Paris, France. Phone +33 1 53 73 78 00. Web Visit website. This humble, little-appreciated museum and former medieval residence is devoted to art, culture and daily life from the Middle Ages.
- The Area of Saint-Michel Fountain
- Along Rue de La Huchette
- The Cluny Museum of Middle Ages
- Around The Sorbonne University
- The Pantheon
- The Gardens of Luxembourg
- Rue Mouffetard
- The Roman Ruins of Lutetia Arenas
- The Arabic Landmarks
- The Botanical Gardens and The Natural History Museum
To start your journey through the Latin Quarter, the best is to stand in front of the Saint-Michel Fountain. Located right across the Seine from Notre-Dame, the beautiful monument is relatively young compared to the rest of the neighborhood. Planned as a part of Haussmann’s transformations, the fountain was put in the charge of sculptor Gabriel Davioud. The location of the fountain, at the end of the Saint-Michel Bridge and at the corner of two streets, oriented to the North – with the lack of light that goes with it – was a real challenge for the artist. He decided to ask for the help of several sculptors. The diversity of materials, colors, and styles were to counteract the terrible light the monument would receive. Representing the fight of Good against Evil, and more specifically the victory of Saint Michel over the Devil, the sculptures are displayed around a triumphal arch. Now a meeting point for Parisians, and an acclaimed monument for visitors, the fountain was once much cr...
Rue de la Huchette is a small street running parallel to the Seine. It is more than 800 years old. If you go there, unaware, you might find a lot of restaurants calling themselves traditionally French, or Greek. Beware, for most are pure tourist traps. If you want my opinion – you are reading my article after all :)– do NOT eat in one of those. Paris has enough choice in good restaurants for you to avoid La Huchette. So, you might ask, why tell me to visit Rue de la Huchette? Well, the street leads to quite a few points of interest: At number 23, Le Théâtre de la Huchette is a tiny theater which has been holding the incredible record of playing Ionesco’s The Lesson and The Bald Soprano, every Tuesdays through Saturdays, since 1957 – which represent more than 18 000 shows! Across number 13, the tiny Rue du Chat Qui Pêcheis the narrowest street in Paris. It has no real interest but to allow you taking a fun photo. At number 5, Le Caveau de la Huchette is one of the oldest jazz clubs i...
A former part of an important complex headquartering the Order of Cluny, this old townhome of the Abbotts of Cluny now houses the stunning Museum of Middle-Ages. Although rebuilt several times, its architecture is one of the only one remaining in Paris which clearly shows Middle-Ages architecture. The structure is intelligently built incorporating the much older Roman remains of Lutetia thermal baths– the visit of which is included in the Museum entrance fee. While visiting the museum, do not miss the 6 world-renowned tapestries of the Lady and the Unicorn, and the Middle-Ages gardens – which is a quiet park, adjacent to the museum, and displaying plants and spices which often populated gardens at the time. For your information, the museum is currently undergoing important renovations. The access to the old mansion, and the route of the visit have significantly been limited. The frigidarium– cold room – of the thermal baths ruins, and the room of the Lady and the Unicorn are still a...
Climbing the highest point of the Left Bank – Mount Sainte Genevieve – the Rue Saint Jacquesruns across the intellectual heart of Paris. On one side of the street, the College de France, founded in the 16th century by Francis I and considered the most prestigious research institution in France, offers lectures and conferences open to the public. Higher on the hill, one of Paris’s two most prestigious high schools – Louis Le Grand High School – is only a few yards away from its great rival, Henry IV High School. On the other side of the street, the grandiose and prestigious University of Sorbonne, easily recognizable with its dome and observatory tower, houses four prestigious colleges and is often considered the best university in France in its fields, especially in literary arts. If you go to the other side of the building, on the front square of the University, you may see a square-shaped pool, with a circular protrusion on one side. This is actually a well, dating back to the Rom...
Keep climbing Mount Sainte-Genevieve until you reach the grandiose Pantheon. The monumental mausoleum protecting the remains of the greatest people in French History was the result of the transformation of a church under the reign of Louis XV. Under its dome forever lie Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Rousseau, Antoine de Saint-Exupery – the author of The Little Prince, Louis Braille – the inventor of a special alphabet for the blind, Pierre and Marie Curie, Alexandre Dumas, and many more. While visiting this impressive structure, do not miss the Foucault pendulum under the dome. This pendulum is a scientific experiment by Léon Foucault which was hung here due to the ceiling height required for the experiment to be conclusive. It aims at demonstrating the Earth rotation. Before leaving the area, get around the building on the left when you look at the main façade. Don’t miss the chance to enter Saint-Etienne-du-Mont Church, next door. Although quite ordinary on the outside, the inside of the...
Downhill to the West, the nice Gardens of Luxembourg is the park of the French Senate (housed in Palace of Luxembourg). Although the Palace cannot be visited, the park offers a pleasant time to tourists and Parisians, who love to take a break on its many lawns and near its nice pools and fountains. While in the park, don’t forget to have a look at the very niceMedici Fountain. The monument doesn’t stand where it was originally built. It was moved by several yards when Haussmann pierced Boulevard Saint Michel. However, it has lost nothing of its original grandeur. At the opposite, smartly hidden between the trees, you may visit the Park’s kitchen garden, as well as the beehivesfarm.
Go back to the Pantheon area, and reachPlace de la Contrescarpe. From there, you may walk down the lively Rue Mouffetard, the bustling core of the Latin Quarter. The narrow street is lined with bars and restaurants and is, still today, a popular location in Paris nightlife. The upper part of the street, where are most restaurants and bars, is ideal to go out at night. This lively atmosphere is quite unique in Paris. If you are there during the day, take the time to enjoy the nice buildings and façades as many are historic monuments – sometimes you can see old stores’ façades which no longer even match the current store behind them!
From Place de la Contrescarpe, slightly to the North, take the small and paved Rue Rollin. The street finishes with nice stairs and gets you onto Rue Monge. Across this street is an unconventional small park. If you enter it, you will find yourself in a wide-opened elliptic square which is the remains of the old arenas of Roman Lutetia, also known as the amphitheater. Although buildings have been constructed above a part of the structure, the circular seating pattern is still very much visible. This Lutetia Amphitheater, which was elevated slightly outside the city of Lutetia, was a combined building mixing a typical amphitheater – where gladiators’ fights would take place – and classic theater – where plays took place. The theater function of the building was evidenced by the presence of a large elevated stage area. These arenas are far less impressive than the ones you may find in Arles or Nimes – in Southern France – but if you do not visit other major Roman cities during your st...
Near the arenas are two places which reflect the strong influence of Muslim cultures. To the North of the arenas, theArab World Institute (Institut du Monde Arabe) is a great museum and organization founded by more than 15 Arab countries to educate about the Arab World, and its culture(s). The museum building, created by architect Jean Nouvel, is a wonder of cleverness, with a unique façade which filters light harmoniously. In addition to the museum, the AWI also offers workshops, seminars, and many more activities. And if you are hungry, the top floor restaurant is a great option for panoramic views out onto Notre-Dame. About 1km South of the AWI, the Great Paris Mosqueis an incredible Spanish-moorish religious complex which you can visit everyday except on Fridays (and other Muslim celebration days). It was built right after World War I and was the first mosque in France. Towered by an impressive minaret, the mosque offers a relaxing atmosphere as you go through its gardens and ro...
At last, next to the Mosque are the big Botanical Gardens (Jardin des Plantes), which displays one of the most comprehensive collection of plants in Europe, and the most important one in France. The garden is an agreeable park to have a nice stroll and relaxing time. As a part of the Natural History Museum, the museum is completed by exhibition galleries among which the impressive paleontology gallery, the mineralogy gallery, and the most renowned Gallery of Evolution, not to be missed. Of course, this list is not comprehensive, as the Latin Quarter is one of the richest neighborhoods in Paris. Feel free to wander the small streets and lose yourself. At last, if you wish to know more and see even more things you’re afraid to miss on your own, don’t forget that DiscoverWalks offers a guided tour of the Latin Quarter, which you can book here.
- Musée de Cluny (Musée National du Moyen-Âge) Discover the beauty and depth of medieval art at the Cluny Museum. This National Museum of the Middle Ages is housed in the 15th-century Hôtel des Abbés de Cluny, formerly the Paris town house for the Benedictine abbey of Cluny based in the Burgundy region.
- Panthéon. Presiding over the Latin Quarter from its slightly elevated perch on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève (Saint-Genevieve hilltop), the Panthéon is a mausoleum that holds the tombs of France's most prominent citizens.
- Eglise Saint-Sevérin Saint-Nicolas. The Eglise Saint-Séverin Saint-Nicolas is one of the finest examples of Flamboyant Gothic architecture in Paris. With its dark sanctuary illuminated by candles, the church has a somber and spiritual ambience.
- Boulevard Saint-Michel & Place Saint-Michel. The busy main thoroughfare of Boulevard Saint-Michel and the bustling Place Saint-Michel bring modern energy to the Latin Quarter.
- The Pantheon
- Musée National Du Moyen Age
- Jardin Des Plantes
- The Zoo at Jardin Des Plantes
- Natural History Museum
- Musée Curie
- Shakespeare & Company
- Beaucoup Des Eglises !
- Rue Mouffetard – Market Street
- Grande Mosquée de Paris
- Boulevard Saint-Michel
- Latin Quarter Metro & RER Stations
- Institute Du Monde Arabe
- La Sorbonne
- Androuet Fromagerie – Depuis 1909
- La Tour D'argent
This magnificent Paris landmark is a monument and mausoleum to France's greatest men (and two women). Originally built as a church in 1758, it was converted to a shrine to the \\"heroes of France\\" during the French Revolution. For students of architecture, the Pantheon's exterior was modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. It's worth a detour to explore inside. It's where Foucault first demonstrated his famous pendulum. Victor Hugo and Marie Curie are interred here. Also buried (or otherwise honore...
Paris is filled with many hidden treasures and this Museum of the Middle Ages is certainly one of them. Away from the tourist bustle, this small gem of a museum is dedicated to the Middle Ages (not yours, but that epoch in history). One of the many highlights is the tapestry collection, including the über-famous La Dame a la Licorne (The Lady and the Unicorn). The six tapestries were woven in Flanders from wool and silk using designs from Parisian life during the 1500s. Other must-sees are th...
During the 17th century, the Jardin des Plantes (botanical garden) was used to grow medicinal herbs for royalty. It was originally called the Jardin du Roi (The King's Garden). Today, we consider it a Paris hidden gem with lush gardens, pathways, benches, the zoo, and a collection of museums all at one address. The gardens boast 4,500 different plants in its alpine garden, rose garden, and Art Deco winter garden. There are also three large greenhouses; one built in the 1800s is a marvelous tr...
The French Revolution is responsible for many things; this wonderfully old-fashioned zoo, the second oldest in the world, is one of the more unusual. It was a thing, a status symbol, for French royals to keep exotic animals on their estates. After they lost their heads (the royals, not the animals), the menageries needed a home. One of those royal estates was Versailles. In 1793 animals from the king's menagerie were transferred here to the Jardin des Plantes and the zoo was begun. What makes...
It's called the Natural History Museum, but it is in fact a handful of many museums in the Jardin des Plantes — the Gallery of Mineralogy (Galerie de Mineralogie et de Geologie), the Gallery of Paleontology (birds, dinosaurs, prehistoric animals), and the Grande Gallery of Evolution. This collection of museums is the place to take children to see all things animals. Plan to spend at least three hours here, with a special stop at the Galeries des Enfants, an interactive science museum with chi...
This fascinating free museum is actually in the same building where Madame Curie worked and made her remarkable discoveries about radioactivity. In case you've forgotten your French scientific history, Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first woman to become a professor at the Sorbonne, and one of only two women to be entombed in the Pantheon (see point #1 above). Unfortunately she died too young (at age 66) due to exposure to radiation during her experiments. In 2012 t...
Be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise.\\" Quote on the wall of Shakespeare & Company, Paris A Paris institution, this independently-owned English bookstore was opened in 1919 by American Sylvia Beach. She ran it as a casual bookstore and boarding house for up-and-coming writers. Ernest Hemingway wrote about it his memoir, A Moveable Feast. World War II crashed into Paris and the bookstore closed during the Nazi occupation. Then, in 1951, another young American, Georg...
Four historic churches dominate the skyline of the Latin Quarter — Saint-Severin, Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, and Saint-Médard. SAINT-ETIENNE-DU-MONT Closest to the Pantheon is Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, the church that holds the shrine to the patron saint of Paris, St Genevieve. Like many historical structures in the city, Saint Etienne has had numerous incarnations since it was built in the 6th century. The current version and the bell tower date from 1624. For film lovers, y...
Julia Child's favorite outdoor food market is still as bustling as it was in the 1950s, and for hundreds of years before that. (You can see Meryl Streep shopping here in Julie and Julia.) If you want to see the freshest and most bountiful displays, arrive in the morning. The vendors generally set up by 9 AM, close for lunch and reopen at about 2 PM. The Sunday market is a vibrant affair but be warned, it closes for Sunday lunch and doesn't reopen until Tuesday. If you want to have an imprompt...
It's the largest Islamic place of worship in Paris. Founded in 1926, the Grande Mosquée was a tribute to the Muslim soldiers from French colonies who died in battle during World War I. During World II the mosque was a secret refuge for Algerian and European Jews. Many escaped using Muslim birth certificates to guarantee them safe passage out of Nazi-occupied France. The mosque also welcomes guests to enjoy the architecture, the peaceful gardens, the hammam spa, and the popular tearoom and res...
This is Big Paris and the only evidence of Baron Haussmann's wide boulevards in the Latin Quarter. In fact, there are only two major streets on the Left Bank — one is Boulevard Saint Michel (5th Arrondissement), the other is Boulevard Saint-Germain (6th Arrondissement and also the 5th Arrondissement). Start at Pont Saint Michel and the place which bears the same name and continue south past the Sorbonne, the Jardin du Luxembourg, and end at Place Camille Jullian. The tree-lined boulevard is a...
Line 10 is an important Metro line that connects the Latin Quarter to the rest of Paris. It runs from the far west in Boulogne-Pont de Saint Cloud, through the center of Paris and continues to its furthest eastern destination of Gare d'Austerlitz. It stops in the Latin Quarter at Cluny-La Sorbonne , Maubert-Mutualite, Cardinal Lemoine' and Jussieu stations. The longest Metro line in Paris, Line 7, crosses the city north to south in a curved path from Mairie d'Ivry in the north to Villejuif-Lo...
From Sinbad to Marco Polo, the Institute of the Arab World explores the scientific and cultural contributions of the Middle East throughout history. The building itself is worth a visit. The contemporary structure, designed by Jean Nouvel and completed in 1987, features an exterior wall of photosensitive apertures, which open or close depending on the light level, paying homage to the traditional Moorish screen. It's a bit of a gimmick, but an interesting experiment nonetheless. Here you will...
It's the oldest university in France and one of the most famous place of higher learning in the world. Founded in 1257, you might not know that the Collège de Sorbonne is actually a collection of thirteen separate universities. Three of them have Sorbonne in their names — Panthéon-Sorbonne, Sorbonne Nouvelle, and Paris-Sorbonne. 1. Sorbonne Website…
It's one of the leading fromageries of Paris, and with well over 200 cheese shops in the city to choose from, that's high praise. There are several Androuet locations in Paris — in the 7th, 14th, 15th and 16th — but the one on Rue Mouffetard holds a special place in our hearts. Come to sample and to buy some of the hundreds of cheeses on offer, then step back to admire the beautifully painted exterior of the building. 1. 134 rue Mouffetard 2. Website…
This place is the stuff of culinary legend. La Tour d'Argent is one of the most famous restaurants in Paris and it has a long history — there has been a restaurant at this location since 1780. The \\"silver tower\\" of the restaurant's name was built on this spot in 1582. The Terrail family have owned it since 1912 and they held three Michelin stars for an amazing 63 continuous years — from 1933 to 1996. The restaurant still retains one Michelin start today. The wine cellar holds an impressive 4,...
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