LATIN QUARTER - SAINT GERMAIN DES PRES - Paris
Since the Middle Age, this
riverside quarter has been dominated by the Sorbonne and acquired
its name from the early latin-speaking students. It dates back to
the Roman town across the Ile de la Cité. In 1215 the Pope
approved the establishment of a university on the left bank of the
Seine in Paris. Students and teachers alike settled in the area
and since Latin was the official language of education at that time,
the area came to be called the Latin Quarter.
The area is generally associated with artists, intellectual and
a bohemian way of life; this is mainly due to the thousands of students
However, the place has also a history of political unrest : In 1871,
the Place Saint Michel became the center of the Paris Commune, and
in may 1968, it was a site of student uprising.
Today the eastern half has become sufficiently chic, however, to
house members of the French Establishment.
The place contains many of the Paris monuments, museums and gardens,
ranging from the brand-new Institut du Monde Arabe to the Middle
Age Musée de Cluny, or the Muséum National d'Histoire
Naturelle in the Jardin des Plantes.
How to get there
Metro line 1 or 10 : Saint Germain des Prés, Mabillon
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