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Located behind Abbaye Saint-Germain-des-Près, le Palais Abbatial was built in 1586 by Cardinal de Bourbon, the Abbot of Saint-Germain-des-Près. The architect of the palace is thought to be Guillaume de Marchand, whose design is considered a precursor to the Louis XIII style that emerged in France shortly thereafter. Le Palais Abbatial was also the second building in Paris, after Hôtel Scipion, to combine redbrick and stone in its construction. Some modifications occurred later, particularly around 1680 by Guillaume Egon, the Cardinal landgrave of Fürstenberg. His title is eternalised a short block away from the palace, at place Fürstenberg, one of the most charming squares in Paris. It is planted with four large Paulownia trees and is often featured in French films. Le Palais Abbatial is nowadays the headquarters of a couple of religious organisations.
- Historical Travel
Walk the St. Germaine Quarter (walk 1)
The St. Germaine Quarter stretches from the Fontaine St.-Michel west along the Seineto the Institute de France, the Pont des Arts and the Ecole des Beaux Arts. The area extends to the south up to the Blvd, past the Church and across the Blvd. up to the Luxembourg Gardens comprises most of the area of the 6th Arrondissement. ( This is really "The Left Bank'). It includes the Churches St. Germaine des Pres and St. Sulpice, plus every sort of shop and eatery from ready-to-wear to designer, or creperie to 4* gourmet palace and famous brasseries and cafes. There are lot of inexpensive 2* hotels and better ones. The many colorful residents (and presence of laundromats) make this a good area for long Parisian sojourns. We stayed on the rue des Canettes (as a family group of 5 couples) and could walk to many places and use various Metro stations. We ate in small creperies and at th bar across the street and walked upthe block to the Place St. Sulpice and further to the Luxembourg Gardens. Every side street was interesting. This is the real Paris! Up the r. Tournon was a view of the Luxembourg Palace and the entry to the Hotel de Brancas, now the Institut Francais d'Architecture.
- Family Travel
St-Germain des Pres
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...
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.
Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés
This church is, as you probably know, the oldest in Paris. It was founded by Childebert, son of Clovis, the first king of France and is dedicated to the saintly Germain who was Bishop of Paris in Childebert’s life. It is located in what, at the time, were flood-prone fields as the “Prés” indicates, being the French word for fields.
This is the church where the remains of Rene Descartes were moved from Stockholm but, as near as I can tell, there is little, if anything, here. There is what looks like a marble memorial to him between two chapels. It praises his intellect and his contribution to the literature and thought of his time. Some regard him as the father of the enlightenment.
The church was built, as so many were, to house and honor a holy relic, in this case the stole of St. Vincent, brought from Spain by Childebert in the 6th Century. The abbey became one of the richest in France and a Catholic intellectual center until the French Revolution. There is a lot of interesting statuary and paintings to be seen, one statue of St. Germain and a 13th Century one of the Virgin and Child which has been pieced back together from three stone pieces found in a recent archeological dig nearby.
Rue de Buci
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.
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Paris Travel Guide
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