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Eglise Saint Germain :

Built around the oldest romanesque abbey in Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Prés is one of the most picturesque areas in Paris: cobbled streets, mysterious passageways, shady courtyards, charming little squares, famous cafés, lively jazz clubs, fruit and vegetable markets.

It has given birth to all the intellectual upheavals which have rocked Paris. In the rue de l'Ancienne Comédie, you can find the oldest café in Paris, opened in 1686, le Procope, where Voltaire and Rousseau propagated their ideal of progress, and where Danton exchanged revolutionary ideas with Marat and Robespierre. Other famous regular customers include La Fontaine, Beaumarchais, Balzac, Hugo, Verlaine, the Encyclopedists, Benjamin Franklin, Napoleon, Daudet, Oscar Wilde, Musset and George Sand. In the fifties, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir sat for hours at Café de Flore or Aux Deux Magots, re-painting the neighborhood in existantialist colours.

Today's Saint-Germain-des-Prés is still a literary and artistic haunt with publishing houses, old bookstores, antique shops and art galleries lining the streets. Shoppers will also appreciate the fact that the upmarket fashion emporia has moved in (Armani, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, etc...)