A short guide to the Latin Quarter, Parisian home of intellectual life
The Latin Quarter of Paris is between arrondissement 5 and arrondissement 6. It includes Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Luxembourg gardens. Latin Quarter it is not a real district: it is an area that owes its name to the exclusive use of Latin due to the courses of the local schools and universities in Middle Ages.
Among the schools and universities of the Latin district stand out the Sorbonne, the Paris II university, the Collège de France and other institutions such as the Academy of Fine Arts and the Sainte-Geneviève library.
The Latin Quarter is on the rive gauche of the Seine and is not far from the Ile de la Cité and the Ile Saint-Louis. It is connected to the two islands of the city through several bridges. The most famous Parisian bridges that connect Lain Quarter to the islands are the Pont de Sully – which from the Latin quarter leads first to the Ile Saint-Louis and then to the rive droite; the Pont de la Tournelle; the Pont de l’Archeveche and the Pont Neuf. Pont Neufis the oldest and longest bridge of the city.
The Latin Quarteris full of attractions. The most famous monuments are the Pantheon, the Catholic church dedicated to Sainte-Geneviève; the national museum dedicated to the Middle Ages, the Luxembourg palace (base of the Senate) with the famous French gardens of Luxembourg.
In the same area it is possible to admire some Roman vestiges, such as the Arena of Lutetia, the Roman and pre-Roman city of Gaul that were basically the ancestor of Paris, and the Roman baths.
The liveliness of intellectual activitiesis not due only to the presence of many schools and universities but also to many places where you can attend many shows such as the Paradis Latin, the Odeon Theatre and the HuchetteCaveau.
In the Latin Quarter there are also several churches to visit such as the Church of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, the ancient abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés – masterpiece of gothic architecture – and the church of Saint-Sulpice – the largest church in Paris after Notre-Dame. In this church you can see frescoes by artists such as Eugène Delacroix, François Lemoyne, Victor Mottez.