St-Germain des Près, Paris
The church is nice, but what is most special is the chapel to the right as you enter. It is not always open -- I think Tuesday and Thursday afternoons it is staffed by volunteers who will be happy to explain how what you see includes the remains of several centuries of building. The older woman who was my guide only spoke French, but was very patient with me as I worked to understand:)
Just outside the church you will find a small square, a nice open respite in a busy area.
The Saint-Germain-des-Prés church is the oldest roman sanctuary in Paris. It housed a renowned Benedictine abbey in the 8th century where the foundations of archaelogy and palaeofraphy were laid. Here, in this church lies René Descartes, the father of modern philosophy (his skull, by the way, is kept at the Musée de l'Homme... no comments).
Besides the church, the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district consists of beautiful cafés, great little shops and a great atmosphere, where you could spend a whole afternoon walking or enjoying the view at a local café.
This beautiful Sevres fountain is in the small garden behind the church. Please look at the doorknobs & details travelogue for another great shot of the ceramics.
The Sevres Porcelain factory was founded in 1738 and was located originally at Chateau Vincennes. In 1759 it was moved by the then owner, Louis XV, to the town of Sevres southwest of Paris ville where it was produced into teh 20th century.
Just walking through the streets and neighborhoods of Paris is a joy. This photo shows a shop and two very high wooden doors to the left that open to a walkway and courtyard where there may be homes that are hidden away from the street.
This one-time suburb of Paris is located on the Left Bank, across the Seine from the Tuileries. It runs along the southern shore of the Seine, in the 7th and 6th arrondissements, and consists of the area east of boulevard St-Michel as far as to include the Musée d’Orsay. It stretches some 4 to 5 blocks to the south, including boulevard St-Germain and several blocks to its south.
St-Germain’s more interesting structures are the Cour du Commerce St-André, the Cour de Rohan, the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, the Institut de France, the Palais Abbatial, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, the Théâtre National de l’Odéon and the St-Germain-des-Prés church. Some of its more interesting streets are boulevard St-Germain, the rue du Dragon and the rue de l’Odéon. Its museums include the Musée Eugène Delacroix, the Musée Nationale de la Légion d’Honneur, the Musée de la Monnaie and the Musée d’Orsay.
This is the oldest church in Paris - the only remain of Benedictine Abbey. It was built in 6th century. Then was destroyed few times by Normans, rebuilt in 11th century and enlarged in 12th to the present size. The oldest part of the church is the east tower. Take a walk around the church – along Rue Cardinale, Rue de l’Echaude or Rue de Furstenberg. You find here some picturesque old houses.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés is the literary quarter par excellence, home of the major publishing houses, the Académie Française, bookshops and literary cafés. The churh with the same name has elements dated 1000 years ago.
In St. Germain visit the daily (except Monday) food market stalls on Rue de Buci. Wander around have a crepe, shop, find a cafe, have a beverage, repeat.