The Saint-Séverin Church, located in the heart of the Latin Quarter, is a fine example of Gothic architecture that plunges us back into ancient Paris, medieval Paris.
Going to the Saint-Séverin Church is like taking a leap back in old Paris. Accessing the building requires strolling through small winding streets in the 5th arrondissement.
Built in the time of the merovingians, around 650, in homage to the hermit monk Saint-Séverin, the Saint-Séverin Church is the oldest church on the left bank.
Destroyed by the Vikings, it was rebuilt in the thirteenth century in a flamboyant Gothic style still visible today.
Must see: its superb canopy, its double-collateral and its double ambulatory.
Situated on the Ile de la Cité, a short walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Sainte-Chapelle chapel is a jewel of Gothic art. It was built in the 13th century, upon the order of King Saint-Louis, to house Christ’s Crown of Thorns, now held at Notre-Dame. The upper chapel of the monument is covered in 600 m² of stained-glass windows, of which two thirds are authentic. It’s one of the most complete and remarkable sets of stained glass of this era.
The famous student district, just a few minutes walking from the Hotel du Levant, has not aged a day since the founding of the Sorbonne University in medieval times!
In 1253, a college for 16 poor students who wanted to study theology was created at Louis IX’s request. It became the Sorbonne as Robert de Sorbon, the king’s confessor, gave his name to the school. After 1885, it became the most important university in France; and, nowadays, it is still one of the most important universities in Paris.
The Lutèce arena, an amphitheatre designed for both gladiatorial combat and theatrical performances, is located on Rue Monge, a few steps from the Sorbonne University.
The visit begins on the Boulevard Saint-Michel, where even before entering the museum, you can admire the vestiges of Gallo-Roman baths. Fast-forward 14 centuries and find yourself in the superb courtyard of the Hôtel de Cluny, built at the end of the 15th century.
The museum’s collections include art from antiquity to Renaissance times and feature some veritable masterpieces, including the Pilier des Nautes from the 1st century, and the six tapestries that make up La Dame à la Licorne (The Lady with the Unicorn), dating from the 15th century.
Luxembourg Gardens & Senate
Located on the border between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter, the Luxembourg Gardens, inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence, were created upon the initiative of Queen Marie de Medicis in 1612.
Both are said to be because in the Luxembourg Garden there are several gardens and for each visitor profile: curious, botanical enthusiasts, art enthusiasts, young and old.
Must see : the Senate, the Medicis fountain, the Orangerie, le pavillon Davidou, greenhouses and rose garden, puppet shows, and free concerts at the Kiosque à Musique.
Former church dedicated to Sainte-Geneviève and designed by the architect Soufflot, the Pantheon, after its transformation into a sanctuary erected in memory of national heroes, has retained its name, which means ‘belonging to all the gods’ in Greek…
After visiting the Pantheon and before returning to the Hotel du Levant, mingle with the crowd of students in the Latin Quarter and take a lunch break at the Soufflot, mythical establishment frequented by sorbonnards and whose name pays tribute to the architect of the monument.
Cross the pretty Place de la Contrescarpe, still animated by a few cabarets, to Rue Mouffetard, one of the oldest streets in the capital, and especially the most picturesque!
Notre-Dame de Paris
Located on the Ile de la Cité, in the heart of Paris, it dominates the 96 m high district. This Parisian building with Gothic architecture dates from the 12th century and its remarkable construction lasted 2 centuries!
“Notre Dame”, say the Parisians for short, is also the starting point of the road distances of France: the zero point is located on the square of the cathedral.
Unfortunately due to a fire in April, Notre-Dame de Paris cannot be visited inside. You may however enjoy the scenery from the left bank side.
The Pont des arts
The Pont des Arts, also called the Passerelle des Arts, is a structure located between the Institut de France and the Louvre Museum. Built between 1801 and 1804, it is the first iron bridge in the capital. The bridge is reserved for pedestrians. With family, couple or friends, the walk is pleasant and the views of the Seine and its monuments are conducive to photo shoots.ioàp)
Saint-Germain des Prés Church
The church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a former Benedictine abbey of Paris founded in the middle of the 6th century by the merovingian king Childebert I and the bishop of Paris saint Germain. The abbey had several names known as Saint Vincent and Sainte-Croix. It is located in the heart of Paris and the Latin Quarter.
t is the oldest of the great Parisian churches, and at the centre of the life of a lively and dynamic parish, its Saint-Germain district owes its name to this abbey, built since 543 AD.
Must see: A meeting place for artists and writers from the Left Bank, Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots are always the undisputed stars of Parisian life.
Built in the 17th century, with foundations from the 12th century, the Eglise Saint-Sulpice is one of the biggest churches in Paris. Located in the heart of the 6th arrondissement, in the Saint-Germain-des-Près district, it is definitely worth a visit. Inside, admire the nave, the Chapelle de la Vierge with a statue of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, the sacristy and its wood-panelling in a Louis XV style, mural paintings by Eugène Delacrois, and the large organ by Cavaillé-Coll.
Another curiosity: the gnomon, (the part of a sundial which casts a shadow), with a strand of brass wire incrusted on it which represents the meridian line. Outside, from Place Saint-Sulpice, admire the beautiful facade with its two recognizable towers.
The Eglise Saint-Sulpice is one of the sites in Paris where the ‘Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown, best seller in 2003, was filmed. After several months of renovation, the 3 paintings of Eugène Delacroix of the Chapelle des Saints-Anges are now accessible to the public.
A nature retreat in the centre of Paris, a botanical garden at the cutting edge of research, and a living testimony to history, the Jardin des Plantes is a 400-year-old garden of science. Its mission is to gather and study plant collections and to welcome the public. Thanks to its plant and flower beds, remarkable trees, statues and pathways, it offers visitors a diverse, well-tended stroll, with mysterious surprises at every turn!
Amble at leisure over 2.5 hectares of French Gardens, follow a guide through the world’s mountainous regions, take a botany workshop, discover remarkable historic trees such as our 315-year-old pistachio tree, and generally enjoy an aesthetic, sensory-rich experience.
The Great Mosque
Constructed between 1922 and 1926, the Mosquée de Paris is located in the Latin Quarter, a stone’s throw from Paris’s natural history museum.
The Hispano-Moresque building is dominated by a 33-metre-high minaret. It has a patio surrounded by sculpted arcades, as in the Alhambra in Granada.
The prayer room is a must-see for its intricate decoration and superb carpets. The Mosquée de Paris is also a place for rest and relaxation, with its hammam, restaurant, tearoom and shop reminiscent of a souk.