Located in the heart of the 6th arrondissement, between the Seine, Boulevard Saint-Michel and the Hôtel des Saints Pères, the district perpetuates the Saint-Germain spirit with its cafés, boutiques and art galleries.
Often considered as one of the great centres for artists from all over the world, the Saint-Germain district is the home of painters, as well as philosophers, musicians and actors, who all contribute to the dynamism of the quarter.
A major artistic and theatre centre
The history of the district begins in 543, when Childebert, son of Clovis, launched the construction of an abbey under the advice of the bishop Germain. The church was renamed after the bishop on his death. The district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés developed rapidly around this establishment, which disappeared during the French Revolution when it was destroyed by fire. In the 17th century, the area was already attracting artists who met in the many cafés in the area. In the Rue de l'Ancienne Comédie, the café Le Procope, now a restaurant, was the meeting place of the actors of the Comédie Française and later of Voltaire and Rousseau. It was really in the 19th century that the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district became a meeting place for writers such as Racine, Balzac and George Sand, as well as painters such as Delacroix and Manet and actors. During the 20th century, literary cafés appeared in Saint-Germain-des-Prés: Les Deux Magots, Le Flore and the Brasserie Lipp. Apollinaire, Aragon, André Breton, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre liked to go to these "institutions".
A dynamic district
Life comes alive at the Odéon theatre. Artists such as Picasso and Man Ray settled in the district, as did songwriters such as Léo Ferré, George Brassens, Jacques Brel, Charles Trenet, Charles Aznavour, Serge Gainsbourg and Juliette Greco. Jazz is part of the repertoire of the place. Miles Davis performed there. Today, the district, which continues to maintain its artistic and festive past, is attracting more and more major luxury brands, such as Dior, Rolex and Hermès. The Hôtel des Saints Pères is an ideal starting point to admire the beautiful shop windows and relive the Saint-Germain spirit of the time.