Latin Quarter, Paris

4.5 out of 5 stars 47 Reviews

75005 Paris, France 0815601536

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    Place de la Contrescarpe

    by BeatChick Updated Jan 20, 2008

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    The Place de la Contrescarpe is a square where the students from the Universite de Paris have hung out, eaten & drunk for centuries! There are plenty of bars & restaurants to choose from in this area; one that I ate at is just off the square called La Couscoussiere, a Morrocan joint which serves wonderful & cheap couscous.

    Nearby is the rue Mouffetard, a great market street in the Latin which has a great wine store (I saw great wine for as low as 2€), some crepes stands and a food market during the day. Just off rue Mouffetard are cobblestoned passages such as vine-laden Passage des Postes, Passage des Patriarches and Square Vermenouze.

    In the middle of the square is a wonderful old burbling fountain that people enjoy day or night, picnic or no, cold or hot - even in winter it was filled with people!

    Photos: Feb 2006 & Nov 2007

    Place de la Contrescarpe Place de la Contrescarpe at night Passage des Postes Pigeons Warming themselves on the Place Christmas over Place de la Contrescarpe
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    The Latin Quarter

    by arv1 Updated Jul 7, 2007

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    The Latin Quarter is one of the nicest areas in Paris. It is home to many fabulous restaurants, typically Parisian monuments and many, many students, like myself! I've written a list of all the 'tourist attractions' in Paris that are located in this beautiful quarter. I have written tips about these places on my Paris page, if you require further details.

    MONUMENTS:
    Musee de moyen age (Museum of the middle ages)
    La Sorbonne
    Pantheon
    Jardins de Luxembourg
    Institut de Monde Arabe (Institute of the Arabic World)
    Mosquee de Paris (Central Mosque of Paris)
    Arenes de Lutece
    Jardins des Plantes

    I would definately recommend visiting the Latin Quarter, just walking around the beautiful cobbled streets is an absolute delight!

    View of Latin quarter from Tour Montparnesse
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    fooling around

    by roxelena Written Apr 4, 2007

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    you should definitely discover the city on foot. latin quartier was my favourite place in paris not just beacuse of the dynamism and energy of youth around but also because of the scale of things you can do there. i suggest you to discover back streets where there are delicious italian ice cream(especially the one with an angel above its name-but i can't remember the name of the shop) and the bookshops are amazing you can find very cheap books...plus, you can taste a Turkish food called doner (which is ometimes sold as its Greek correspondant as gyros). it is a little bit oily at some places, but usually it's delicisous. lastly, the little momets you enjoy when you discover a cheap and tasteful place or when you just enjoy the moment is really amazing at latin quartier...

    les deux magots
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    St. Severin Quarter: Eat on the Rue de la Harpe

    by hquittner Written Jan 10, 2007

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    About 50 yd. up the r. de la Huchette from Blvd. St.-Michel, the r. de la Harpe begins. It curves South and ends at the Blvd. St.-Germaine. On its east side, just at the start of the street, is a bistro, The Cochonnaille (the dressed pork or sausage-meat). It looks very small and uninviting and has never been mentioned in a guidebook. We stumbled upon it 30 years ago on our first Parisian visit. At that time it had a battery of prix-fixe meals. Today there is still such bistro fare (like moules (mussels) and frites) and upscale preparations too, but the delicacy that attracted us then, remains: escargot bourgignon and in quantities up to 10 as a starter!
    As garlic addicts, this is enough to bring us back, as it has on every trip to Paris. But there is another reason. The restaurant you enter is a small affair that spills out onto the street in nice weather. More important, a flight of stairs leads down to the bar, kitchen and a dining room deep below ground in a pair of 15C or earlier Gothic caves (wine-cellars?) where your meal will be served in as romantic a setting as you can desire. Be smart, drop by during a daytime walk and make a reservation for the evening meal. We have been accosted by patrons of the place during our meal, asking irritably, as Americans how did we fjnd out about the place. After 30 years we are breaking our silence. I hope you find it as good as we have.

    Today's special on the wall It is dark in the Cave at Dinner
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    The Latin Quarter

    by sim1 Updated Dec 10, 2006

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    Let’s hop on the metro again and return to the city centre. I am now on the other side of the River Seine, and I'll explore this area a bit more and end this page with my descriptions of Ile de la Cité.

    I'll start my tour at the Latin Quarter, which is a 100% contrasts to my previous destination La Défense. No modern buildings here, business men or modern architecture. But instead small windy streets, lots and lots of tourists, historical buildings and a thousand or more little (tourist) restaurants and bistros to choose from. Since The Latin Quarter has been dominated by the University of Paris, La Sorbonne, it has acquired its name from the early Latin-speaking students.

    Some of the highlights of this area are the Institut du Monde Arabe, Musée du Moyen Age (Middle Ages) or also called the Musée de Cluny, the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in the Jardin des Plantes or how about the Le Panthéon and the churches of St-Séverin and St.Julien-le-Pauvre. My personal favourites of the Latin Quarter were my visits to the Musée de Cluny and lunch at a fantastic little winebar on the edge of the district called L'Ecluse (see my restaurant tips).

    The Latin Quarter The Latin Quarter
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    Orientation of Place du Pantheon

    by hquittner Updated Nov 28, 2006

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    The semicircular square in front of the Pantheon was part of Soufflot's design for the area as were the curved buildings surrounding it. The North curve contains the former Law School but now houses the administrative offices of the Universities Paris I, II, and V. Soufflot died before the building was finished and the South building opposite was built 100 years after and houses the Mairie. At that time along the North flank the Bibliotheque (Library) Ste.-Genevieve was built extending to r. Valette (hiding the College of Ste.-Barbe). From that point, one can see to the East, the Church Saint-Etienne-du-Mont whose 17C belfry juts up and clangs the hour. Crossing the r. Soufflot to the West of the Pantheon is the ancient pilgrim road Rue St. Jacques heading from the Seine to the South. Looking North on it and to the left is the back of the Sorbonne with its observatory dome visible.

    Former Law School Biblioteque Ste-Genevieve Mairie Sorbonne view Bell-Tower of St. Etienne-du-Mont beyond Pantheon
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    In the deeper streets of the university

    by hquittner Written Nov 11, 2006

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    Further up the hill from Place de la Sorbonne alond the "Boul Mich" is the rue Soufflot to the left. The Pantheon looms up (you should see it only if you have lots of time and are a Francophile). But it is nice to look at. It is surrounded by functioning and former school buildings. Behind it is St.-Etienne-du-Mont and the r. Descartes. A little further in that area the Quarter ends near the pl. de la Contrescarpe. If you return down the hill via the r. Vallette you encounter the College of St. Barbara, founded in 1460 and the last of the Latin Quarter colleges to survive.The street becomes the r. des Carmes next and in it is a Baroque style (1738) Chapel to St. Ephrem (so named by its present worshippers who are Syrian Catholics).

    Rues Estrapade & Thouin , SE edge of Latin Quart College St. Barbara Down r. des Carmes toward N. D. (in distance) Chapel of St. Ephrem The Quarter at Pl.Maubert
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    Saint Severin Quarter: Where is the Quarter?

    by hquittner Updated Nov 11, 2006

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    Most guidebooks include this area in the Latin Quarter. It depends on how broadly one defines that neighborhood. This interesting part of Paris has little to do with the Sorbonne any more . The students no longer can afford to live here or even eat in most of the restaurants. But it is very much the ancient Paris.The St. Severin Quarter is bounded by the Blvd. St. Germaine(SG) to the south, the Place Maubert at its SE corner, the Seine at the north , the Place St. Michel at the NW corner and the Blvds. SG and SM intersection at the SW corner. Many guidebooks include this in the Latin Quarter for ease of minimal description because it is here that the “action “ occurs in the jazz clubs, the inexpensive ethnic restaurants, the floodlit views of Notre Dame, etc. (“The Left Bank”). This IS the sightseers heart of Paris , not the Eifel Tower or the Arc du Triomphe! You know it when you emerge from the St. Michel Metro station. Here you are looking at one of the 17 remaining Hector Guimard Art Nouveau cast iron entrances (1900). Immediately across at the edge of the Place is the Fontaine Saint-Michel (1860) with Duret’s statue of the Saint crushing the devil. (You are in the 5th Arrondissement looking at the 6th). Then there is the Seine and the bouquinistes stalls if you can negotiate the traffic while crossing the Quai St. Michel. Walking up the Quai Montebello you reach the Square Rene-Viviani from inside which is a view of the South side of NDame.

    The Art of Hector Guimard (1900) The Seine is the North edge (by N.D.) A view of the Cathedral Facade Place Maubert
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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    When are you in the Latin Quarter?

    by hquittner Written Oct 30, 2006

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    Although a “Quartier” (quarter) refers to a neighborhood, its boundaries appear to be in the eyes of the sightseer. Guidebooks seem to never define the Latin Quarter but they should. VT is confusing too. (In New Orleans where I live, we have similar difficulties. It is called “Uptown”, “Carrollton” , “University area” and “Riverbend”--nobody will clarify this). The best working definition I can find relates the LQ to that part of the Left Bank where first the Romans and then the religious school students lived, around the Sorbonne. It is all in the 5th Arrondissement .The area starts in the NE at the Place Maubert (Metro) runs along Blvd St. Germain to “the Boul Mich’ (Metro), South along the Boul to r. Gay-Lussac, then East to where r. Thouin meets r. Descartes at the edge of the Pl. Contrescarpe and then back North. By this definition the Churches St. Julien and St, Severin are in the St. Severin Quarter which at its Northwest looks out on the Fontaine St.-Michel., behind which the street leads directly to St. Germain des Pres (this is another Quartier).
    The pl. de la Sorbonne is the “second campus”of the University and is lined by bars, cafes and shops with lots of outdoor tables and the Church at the East end. A monument to August Comte(1798-1857) sits near the middle. He was a positivist philosopher and mathematician, the father sociology, fired from his post at the Sorbonne for his ideas but now very obviously reinstated. A jazz group usually appears in the early evening.
    The area includes these sites: Pantheon, the Churches Sorbonne and St.-Etienne-du-Mont, lots of schools and the Cluny. Each of these has its own tip category.

    Jazz au parisien Base of monument to Auguste Comte The man (closeup) Hanging out in the place In front of the Eglise
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    Quartier Latin

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 16, 2006

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    The name Latin Quarter came from the fact that most of the famous schools and old universities located in the area were using for teaching, until the French Revolution, the Latin language.

    Latin Quarter is a popular meeting place for young people and its main attractions are the Pantheon, St-Etienne-du-Mont church, St-Severin church and La Sorbonne.

    In the summer time, the Latin Quarter is a beautiful lively place, due to the numerous cafes, bistros and restaurants around.

    In Quartier Latin In Quartier Latin In Quartier Latin In Quartier Latin In Quartier Latin
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    Students and tourists

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Dec 4, 2005

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    The Latin Quarter - the name conjures up images of students and intellectuals sitting in atmospheric cafes and brasseries, arguing and debating long into the night. The reality these days is that the cafes are full of tourists and the debates are over which "menu du jour" offers the best value and just what is "faux-filet."
    Oh well, that's no reason to give this corner of Paris a miss. The students certainly are still there, many of the brasseries do offer good value and there are bookshops aplenty still even if genuine intellectuals are thin on the ground.

    There are any number of top sight-seeing options around here - the Hotel Cluny ( my No 1 choice for the glorious Lady and the Unicorn tapestries housed here) , the Sorbonne Chapel (open only for special events - I caught a fabulous Giotto exhibition here last time I was in Paris), the Arab Institute with its excellent museum, and equally good Lebanese restaurant (le Ziryab - very pricey and bookings are essential but the view is spectacular), the Pantheon and the Church of Saint Edmond du Mont ( and a great little pub down the hill fromthere where a jazz band sets up on Saturday afternoons)

    Whether you opt for a full-on culture combo of museums, churches and historic buildings or simply to wander, soaking up the atmosphere of the narrow streets, the Latin Quarter is one corner of Paris not to be missed.

    leyle

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  • VT Meeting!

    by Ewcia_AZ Updated May 15, 2005

    We met with Daniel a VT (danjoro) member on 12th of May near to Notre Dame. We went for a drink and a little bit of sighseeing around St Michel area ending up for a great meal in mexican restaurant! We had a great time together!

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    College atmosphere

    by IIGUANA Written Feb 15, 2005

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    The Latin Quarter was founded in 1257 around the Sorbonne University. It owes its name to the language spoken up until the revolution by students and teachers in the district. It holds bookshops, clothes shops, restaurants and decoration stores.
    A stroll along the Latin Quarter will take you form medieval monuments to picturesque markets, and from roman amphitheaters to incredible churches.
    Take the time to sit in a café and grab something to eat. And watch the people go by, the beautiful markets and life as it should be in any city, parisian style.

    A typical street at Latin Quarter
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    Latin Quarters

    by kenyneo Updated Nov 10, 2004

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    I am supposed to see Antonette and her gangs of street performers ( it was on my Paris " to do things " but I could not make it on Sunday.. Too lazy , perhaps when you are in Paris for a week you are spoilt by the ambience ..I just laze around and enjoy Paris

    Anyway I did make it to Latin Quarters...not only that I walked with Romain my friend from Du Monde Arabique to thru Latin Quarters to Montparnasse just to get to a restaurant that Roamin recommended. My leg is already aching but when my freind asked me if I can walk - I said yes. Argghhh..shouldnt have said that....but the subsequent French cuisine compensated all.

    To know the ins and out of Latin Quarters you must check VT Guyon's paris travelogue

    Street performance
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    Ya just gotta go!

    by Colzy Written Oct 29, 2004

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    Unfortunately I only discovered this lively quarter towards the end of my stay in Paris. Sigh. I had of course visited Notre Dame and La Chapelle but had not had the chance to venture too far beyond. I had an hour before I was to depart Paris and went for a bit of a stroll through the winding streets.

    It was a veritable smorgasboard of sights and smells and basically anything GOOD. There were cheap eats and so much life here I was pleasently surprised and cannot wait to return and check it out properly.

    In the midst of the Quarter

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