Profile of the Latin Quarter
The Latin Quarter, located in the 5th and 6th arrondissement along the left bank of Paris, is the benchmark of students but also tourists.
The Latin Quarter stretches from Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the Luxembourg Gardens, on one hand, to the Pantheon Sorbonne, on the other. It owes its name to the teaching, practiced mainly in Latin in the universities during medieval times.
Universities (Sorbonne, University of Paris II Pantheon …) and famous middle and high schools (Henri IV, Louis the Great, Montaigne Fenelon), renown graduate schools (Graduate School of Mines, College of France …), and fine Arts, make for a very popular student area. This is where parties are and the events of May 68. The libraries are numerous and the Sainte-Geneviève library houses a rich collection of ancient manuscripts.
Boulevard Saint-Michel is lively, known as the familiar name of “Boul-Mich” begins Place Saint-Michel where the fountain of the same name, designed by Gabriel Davioud in 1860 and depicting St. Michael slaying a demon. The rue des Ecoles and the Boulevard Saint-Germain passes through it.
Among the monuments to visit,
- The prestigious Sorbonne where you will find the Chartes School, rue des Ecoles,
- The College of France.
- Hôtel de Cluny houses the Museum of the Middle Ages (with the famous tapestry The Lady and the Unicorn)
- The Thermes baths which date back to the first to third century,
- The Arenes de Lutece, ruins of the Gallo-Roman occupation are accessible on Rue Monge and the Rue des Arenes,
- The Pantheon overlooking the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève where famous personalities (Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo …) are buried.
- The St. Severin church of Gothic style, one of the most beautiful churhces of Paris, east of the Boulevard Saint-Michel,
- The Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, whose construction lasted 109 years, is an old church, which explains the different styles in its construction. It houses a hunting replica that covers the tombstone of St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris.
You have to take a walk in the Jardin du Luxembourg (sometimes nicknamed “Le Luco”) designed by Marie de Medici in 1612. The garden stretches along the Luxembourg Palace, seat of the Senate.
Although students do not live much in the Latin Quarter, they appreciate the atmosphere and meet there after school. This area is popular with Parisians and tourists who flock there and wander through its narrow streets, especially Huchette street, pedestrian street where shops and restaurants are numerous (of various nationalities). 23 rue de la Huchette, theater of the same name plays Bald Soprano and the Lesson Eugène Ionesco continuously since 1957 … while at No. 5, the famous Caveau de la Huchette, legendary jazz club has seen since 1946 the greatest jazzmen go there. The entrance is very affordable and you’ll be guaranteed to have a good time. Rue Mouffetard, paved, gently sloping, very lively, with many small traditional shops, takes you down to a daily market , and other streets with picturesque names: la rue de la Harpe (Harp Street), l’Epée de Bois (The Wooden Sword), du Chat qui pêche (The Cat Who Fishes). Verlaine, Hemingway, and Mérimé have left their mark on this place.
Nearby is the Botanical Garden, along the Seine, and the Great Mosque, St Hilaire.
Saint-Michel metro station, line 4,
station Cluny la Sorbonne, line 10,
Gare Saint-Michel Notre-Dame RER B, RER C
- Jardin du Luxembourg – Senate
- Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève