6th Arrondissement – Saint-Germain
The wonderfully central 6th arrondissement is home to the Saint-Germain district. Located on the Rive Gauche or left bank of the Seine, it really came into its own with the creation of the Boulevard Saint-Germain in 1886. The area is almost an extension of the Latin Quarter and has many of the same characteristics. Historically it was a small market town that grew around the abbey of St. Germain, the surrounding fields worked by a community of Benedictine monks. At the end of the 17th century big statesmen built their mansions and courtyards here which have since become the seat of many governmental ministries. Today you will find a wealth of cultural galleries and jazz clubs in the area thanks to the 1950s invasion of students and intellectual types. Indeed the neighbourhood’s Café de Flore and the Deux Magots were popular hangouts for such famous minds as Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Packed with classic Parisian bistros and terraced cafes the area boasts a fiercely artistic and political heart.
6th Arrondissement Highlights
A visit to the beautiful Palais du Luxembourg comes highly recommended during your stay in Paris. Built in the early 17th century for Marie de Medicis, inside you will discover a stunning large gallery adorned by Rubens paintings whilst the great library boasts the great masterpieces of Eugene Delacroix. The palace has been used for a number of purposes during its lifetime including a prison during the French Revolution. Today it is home to the Senate. The beautiful gardens that surround the house are ornately landscaped with lush green lawns, trees and a collection of various statues of the queens of France. You can also hire little sailing boats for children to enjoy floating across the pretty pond here. Older visitors might prefer a restful game of chess in the shade of the trees and awnings.
The beautiful St. Sulpice church in its present state dates back to 1664 and is built on top of the remains of a considerably older and smaller place of worship. It boasts a mixture of styles, its design being interrupted and updated throughout the construction period. Pop inside and take a look at the amazing wall fresco of the fight between Saul and the angel. It was painted under the supervision of Delacroix. Interestingly the infamous Marquis de Sade and Baudelaire were baptized here and Victor Hugo, the writer of Les Miserable and The Hunchback of Notre Dame was married here. Over the last few years visitors have flocked to the church in search of a mythical ‘keystone’ that is supposed to direct one to the location of the Holy Grail as described in Dan Brown’s novel ‘The Da Vinci Code’. It supposedly lies beneath the church floor and the church has now had to put up a notice asking visitors to refrain from knocking on the ground and interfering with the paving stones.
The district’s Observatoire de Paris (Observatory of Paris) provides a fascinating collection of ancient and modern astronomical instruments. It plays an important place in scientific history since it was the world’s first ever observatory and was built by the architect Claude Perrault in around 1672. Meanwhile the Musée de la Monnaie or Currency Museum provides an interesting collection of French coinage dating back to Roman times.
The district’s famous Théâtre de l’Odéon holds the grand title of being the oldest and largest theatre in Paris. It was completed in 1782 and opened by none other than Marie-Antoinette. It was later purchased by Louis XIV as a home for a theatre group founded by Molière called Comedie Française. It was the first time such an Italian-style auditorium with benches in its stalls had been seen by the public of France. Its current appearance dates from 1818 although much of the interior was significantly damaged during the infamous student protests and general strike of 1968. The relatively newly opened upstairs cafe and restaurant in the theatre makes an elegant place to enjoy a quiet lunch or coffee. The prices here are perfectly reasonable considering there is also something of a sense of luxury here. It is particularly pleasant in the summertime when the private terrace is opened and you can enjoy your light meal in the warm sun.
Our 6th Arrondissement Apartments.
Understandably, the 6th arrondissement makes the perfect location for your holiday accommodation in the city with its close proximity to so many museums and popular sights. We offer a broad selection of self catering apartments located in and around the district for you to choose from. To see their precise location and availability information simply state the date of your visit and click the search button. If you need further assistance or have any questions then please contact our helpful and friendly support team.
This page was researched and written by James Fisher. The information was accurate at time of posting. We suggest that you confirm details directly with the locations before making plans. Copyright 2012.
by James Fisher