Panthéon, Grande Mosquée de Paris, Musée de Cluny, La Sorbonne, Jardin des plantes... Do you know what all these names have in common? The answer is simple: they are all located in the famous Latin Quarter. A must-see place to visit, the district was home to the Romans many centuries before, who left their history and mark there. Located in the 5th and 6th arrondissements, the Latin Quarter has been for many years the main centre of educational establishments (high schools, universities, schools...) where in the past the language taught there was...Latin!
There are many places to visit in the Latin Quarter, but we suggest you stop at a few specific places during a nice day's walk.
1. Saint-Michel Fountain in the Latin Quarter: victory over the devil
Baron Haussmann (1809-1891) was an emblematic figure of the Paris of the Second Empire and contributed greatly to the redevelopment of the city under the direction of Emperor Napoleon III. Now one of the most beautiful capitals in the world, Paris has seen many changes and constructions.
Among these is the notorious Saint-Michel Fountain, designed by a group of architects including Gabriel Davioud in 1858 and inaugurated two years later. Stop for a moment to contemplate this small masterpiece, largely inspired by the painting Saint Michael Overcoming the Devil (1518) by Raphael (1483-1520).
Surrounded by pale pink marble columns, the victorious figure of the Archangel Michael is perfectly outlined, towering over the Demon on the ground. Other details are present around this work: two chimeras below, on the sides of the basin, stare at each other and spout a thin stream of water from their mouths. Higher up, under the marble plaque announcing the date and the emperor, 4 sculptures stand at equal distance. These represent the Cardinal Virtues, enunciated centuries earlier by Plato and which include Prudence, Fortitude, Justice and Temperance.
2. A book, please !
Why not take advantage of your day to buy a book to add to your small (or large) collection? We have just the address you need: The Abbey Bookshop, located at 29 Rue de la Parcheminerie.
The Abbey Bookshop is the brainchild of a Canadian, Brian Spence, who came all the way from Toronto to open a shop that would exclusively carry books in English. Amongst a large selection of over 35,000 titles, you will be able to enjoy a collection of fiction, poetry or even classics such as Jane Austen's famous Pride and Prejudice, Shakespeare's Trajedies, or more recent works such as The Lord of the Rings written by J. R. R Tolkien and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
3. Square René Viviani: a small haven of peace
Once you have carefully chosen your book, you can find a quiet corner to enjoy your reading in the Square René Viviani, at 25 Quai de Montebello.
This charming square, which is almost a hundred years old, invites you to spend a moment of respite in its 4265 m2, in the shade of its vegetation.
In fact, the oldest tree in Paris, a robinia, has been rooted in the ground of this public square since 1601. In the centre stands a fountain, the Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre fountain, commissioned by the city in 1995. The French sculptor Georges Jeanclos (1933-1997) was responsible for its creation, inspired by the history of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre. During his lifetime, he created numerous sculptures of men, women and children huddled together with similar faces, but above all faces marked by suffering.
Remains are also scattered throughout the square: a 12th century well, remains of pinnacles (upper parts of a building), capitals, stone balustrade, etc.
4. Poke bowls, catch them all!
Are you hungry after all these activities?
That's fine, we have a food address for you to order and take a break.
At 58 Rue Monge, one of the 12 "Poke Me" restaurants will present you with refreshing and complete bowls, prepared with fresh products!
Above all, it is up to you to compose your own bowl with : 1 or 2 base(s) (rice, salad, quinoa), proteins (salmon, tuna, chicken, sea bream...), marinades (plain, spicy, lemon, passion), toppings (cherry tomatoes, cucumber, radish, pineapple, pepper, corn...), seeds (sesame, mint, fried onions...) and a sauce (lemon vinaigrette, mustard-honey, wasabi shoyu...). Gourmet, well-filled and colourful, these poke bowls are largely inspired by the traditional Hawaiian "Poke". On the island, they are generally presented with raw fish, sea salt, seaweed and nuts from the Moluccan walnut tree (which is the official tree of the state).
5. Arenas of Lutetia: Roman remains in the Latin Quarter
You have ordered your bowl (with fresh salmon, the basic) and you are now looking for a place to eat?
A two-minute walk will take you to the Arènes de Lutèce, a historic Roman site.
There, sitting on the lawn, on benches or on the steps of the arena like a spectator of the time, you will be able to quietly enjoy your meal. These arenas have been around since the 1st century and used to welcome many more spectators for theatrical performances or bloodier events such as gladiatorial fights, wild animals or executions. Today, fortunately, there are no such events as it is now a place where people come to eat, chat and play pétanque, while children play on their side.
8 RUE PHILIPPE DE CHAMPAGNE 75013 PARIS, FRANCE
Téléphone : +33 (0)1 45 35 45 25