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Notre Dame | © Serge Melki/Flickr
Notre Dame | © Serge Melki/Flickr
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Captivating Views Of Paris' Latin Quarter

Picture of Natalie Marin
Updated: 20 October 2016
In the Latin Quarter of Paris, knowledge, creativity, and human endeavor rise up through every ancient corner. This is a neighborhood of intellects and accomplishments. Join us, as we take you on a visual journey through Paris’ oldest and most literary neighborhood.
Le Panthéon, Quartier Latin | © Sergey Galyonkin/Flickr
Le Panthéon, Quartier Latin | © Sergey Galyonkin/Flickr

Crowning the Quartier Latin is the Panthéon, a shrine to and the final resting place of France’s intellectual greats (including Victor Hugo, Voltaire and Marie Curie).

Marianne, the symbol of France and goddess of liberty, awards laurel wreaths to the great minds of literature, science, and philosophy.

Marianne, pediment of the Panthéon | © Sean X. Liu/Flickr
Marianne, pediment of the Panthéon | ©

Sunshine spills in from above, illuminating the airy hall like thought in the corners of the mind.

Ceiling of the Panthéon | © Joe deSousa/Flickr
Ceiling of the Panthéon | © Joe deSousa/Flickr

The Panthéon looks out over Paris, and nods towards its neighbor, the great Paris-Sorbonne School of Law (pictured right).

View outside the Panthéon | © wolfB1958/Flickr
View outside the Panthéon | © wolfB1958/Flickr

Next door, the facade of Saint Geneviève’s Library bears inscriptions of the names of all of the great minds who contributed to the collective body of human knowledge. Can you spot Bacon, Chaucer, Dante?

Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève | © André P. Meyer-Vitali/Flickr
Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève | © André P. Meyer-Vitali/Flickr

The ancient church of Saint Étienne-du-Mont nestles at the back of this same square.

Saint-Étienne-du-Mont | © Chris Waits/Flickr
Saint-Étienne-du-Mont | © Chris Waits/Flickr

It houses the last remaining rood screen in France – these were widely destroyed during the revolution, as they shrouded the activities of the clergy from the curious eyes of the masses.

Rood Screen, Saint-Étienne-du-Mont | © James Diggans/Flickr
Rood Screen, Saint-Étienne-du-Mont | © James Diggans/Flickr

Down the street, is literary meeting point Place de la Contrescarpe; Hemingway, James Joyce, and George Orwell all lived and wrote here. This is where Joyce finished Ulysses, and the neighborhood Orwell wrote about in Down And Out In Paris And London.

Place de la Contrescarpe | © Claude Attard/Flickr
Place de la Contrescarpe | © Claude Attard/Flickr

Even the walls here are literary. This wall, on Rue Descartes, is decorated with poet-tree. The poem says, “Philosopher, do you have the chance to have a tree in your street?”

Wall Poet-tree, Rue Descartes | © Tom Hilton/Flickr
Wall Poet-tree, Rue Descartes | © Tom Hilton/Flickr

Down the hill lies the sprawling green space of the Jardin du Luxembourg. A labor of love, it took Queen Marie de Medici two decades to build.

Jardin du Luxembourg | © Kosala Bandara/Flickr
Jardin du Luxembourg | © Kosala Bandara/Flickr

Luxembourg is a place to slow down, and enjoy a more relaxed pace of life.

Reading in the Luxembourg Gardens | © Aleksandr Zykov/Flickr
Reading in the Luxembourg Gardens | © Aleksandr Zykov/Flickr

Breathe in the natural beauty.

Spring, Luxembourg Gardens
Spring, Luxembourg Gardens | © Linh Nguyen/Flickr

This splendid garden is just as enjoyable in quiet intimacy of the rain.

Under the rain in the Luxembourg Gardens | © Vincent Anderlucci/Flickr
Under the rain in the Luxembourg Gardens | © Vincent Anderlucci/Flickr

Near the Luxembourg, the Musée de Cluny is a repository of the learning of the middle ages.

Book of Days, Musée Cluny | © Adrian Scottow/Flickr
Book of Days, Musée Cluny | © Adrian Scottow/Flickr

This is a place where books are gilded and tapestries explore the five senses.

Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries | © ~Ealasaid~/Flickr
The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries | © ~Ealasaid~/Flickr

At the Carrefour de l’Odeon, the leaders of the Revolution still stand tall over the passing generations.

Danton at Odeon | © Izoux Lazou/Flickr
Danton at Odeon | © Izoux Lazou/Flickr

And around a crooked cobbled corner, the favorite café of revolutionaries still churns hot chocolates.

Café Procope, founded 1686 | © Serge Melki/Flickr
Café Procope, founded 1686 | © Serge Melki/Flickr

St. Michel’s fountain witnessed revolutions too: the May 1968 student uprising turns the country upside down.

Fountain, Place St. Michel | © Stefano Brivio/Flickr
Fountain, Place St. Michel | © Stefano Brivio/Flickr

Padding the riverbanks are the bouquinistes, book sellers who date back to the 16th century. They line the river on both the Left and the Right banks, and locals say, “The Seine is the only river to run between two bookshelves.”

Les Bouquinistes | © ninara/Flickr
Les Bouquinistes | © ninara/Flickr

The thrill of fingering through the feathery pages of old books!

Les Bouquinistes (book stalls by the Seine) | © Sharat Ganapati/Flickr
Les Bouquinistes (book stalls by the Seine) | © Sharat Ganapati/Flickr

The iconic towers of Notre Dame strike the sky over the Latin Quarter.

At one hundred and eighty-two years in the making, the cathedral is a marvel of back-hunching human endeavor.

Shakespeare and Co. has long been a temple of knowledge and creativity. Its original incarnation lent out books to Hemingway and Fitzgerald, and published Joyce’s Ulysses.

Shakespeare And Co. | © Luis Irisarri/Flickr
Shakespeare And Co. | © Luis Irisarri/Flickr

Perhaps the most beautiful timepiece in the Latin Quarter, the Conciergerie’s clock has been ticking since 1370 – a phenomenal work of engineering in a dark and uncertain time.

Medieval Clock dating to 1370, outside the Conciergerie | © Guillaume Speurt/Flickr
Medieval Clock dating to 1370, outside the Conciergerie | © Guillaume Speurt/Flickr

The stained glass windows of Sainte Chapel soar up to the heavens, where the ceiling is flecked with gold to resemble the stars. The walls themselves seem to disappear into nothingness, giving the place an otherworldly lightness.

Sainte Chapel | © Peter Rivera/Flickr
Sainte Chapel | © Peter Rivera/Flickr

The details are even more breathtaking upon closer inspection.

Sainte Chapel | © Peter Rivera/Flickr
Sainte Chapel | © Peter Rivera/Flickr

Down in Saint-Germain-Des-Près, art spills onto the boulevard.

The names of the greats are laced into the very streets of the neighborhood!

Place Sartre-Beauvoir | © Joanna Penn/Flickr
Place Sartre-Beauvoir | © Joanna Penn/Flickr

All this stimulation can leave you feeling ruined.

Saint Germain des Prés | © Ingo Ronner/Flickr
Saint Germain des Prés | © Ingo Ronner/Flickr

Sometimes it’s good to take a break from the intellectual frenzy, and entertain the mind by people watching.

Les Deux Magots | © Ingo Ronner/Flickr
Les Deux Magots | © Ingo Ronner/Flickr

Even the greatest geniuses flirted with inspiration over drinks.

Saint Germain des Pres | © Roman Boed/Flickr
Saint Germain des Pres | © Roman Boed/Flickr