Once upon a Time in Saint Germain des Près

In every country there’s an area if you miss, then you kind of ruined your visit. Saint Germain des Près is definitely one of those specials.

This quartier never ceased to attract writers, artists, musicians, intellectuals who have found an irresistible charm in its streets and cafés…

 

Just a few steps away from the reputed Latin Quarter, you’ll get the chance to discover one of Paris most distinguishable districts. Boasting a strategic position in the heart of the 6th arrondissement, overlooking the Seine and the Louvre on the right bank, ST Germain des Près is your perfect start to get to know the real Paris, Coz it has it all.

This quartier was named for the oldest church in Paris which dates back to the 6th century and now known as the Abbey of Saint Germain. During the middle ages, the religious and social life were centered around this emblematic church.

once-upon-a-time-in-saint-germain-des-pres

With the time passing by, things started to change bit by bit. St-Germain life is no longer Paris religious hub. It has become THE hotspot of intellectual and cultural life in Paris.

It had a kind of an invisible and secret charm that attracted famous writers, singers, painters…

If you are interested in literature you have certainly heard or read about the legendary love story between the two writers Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.  They used to frequent the chic and classy Café Les Deux Magots to talk about their love or discuss some feminist issues…

This café was once the meeting place of literary elite. Sartre and Beauvoir used to meet Hemingway and Albert Camus around one of the table sip some glasses of Martini and talk about everything and anything. In his novel The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway used the café as a setting for a meeting place.

hemingway

Just around the corner, there’s Café De Flore which was a rival of Café Les Deux Mogots in attracting celebrities.In addition to the writers mentioned above, the well-known Pablo Picasso was seen all the time hanging around. The café has become notable for its history, its Art Deco decoration and mainly for its literary prizes awarded to new talents. (impressive! 😀 )

If you are lucky enough, you might get the chance to meet Robert Deniroo and Quentin Tarantino who regularly visit Café De Flore once they are in Paris.

It’s really impossible to cite all the celebrities who left their imprint on the roads and streets of Saint Germain des Près; Manet, Balzac, Georges Sand, Beckett, Charles Gainsbourg, the emblematic singer Juliette Greco

Add to that, a music coming from across the Atlantic started to invade Saint Germain cellars gradually. That’s the JAZZ!

caveeau

Le Caveau de la Huchette is the first club in Paris where they played the Jazz and under its vaults, have  performed the most famous jazz musicians of the world: Georges Arvanitas, Milt Buckner, Claude Bolling, Sidney Bechet, Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers, Bill Coleman

For all those who dream to dive back in the heyday of retro jazz in a chic and cosy atmosphere, Le Caveau de La Huchette is the place.

After dancing on the rythm of the Jazz, save some energy to visit the stunning Luxembourg Garden which fascinated intellectuals, locals, touristsall alike.

This was a mere foretaste of what Saint Germain des Près has to offer. It’s up to you now to go and tell us about the hidden secretes that you’ve discovered. 😉

As for now, enjoy Leo Ferre‘s song : “À Saint Germain des Prés” .