Latin Quarter in France
Highlights
The Latin Quarter is considered one of the brightest sights of the city, the most cheerful, bohemian and interesting area of Paris. It is famous for its original buildings, narrow streets, parks, palaces, small cafes and bookstores. Within the quarter there are several of the most visited tourist sites – the Baths of Cluny, the Luxembourg Garden and the Pantheon located on top of the hill of Saint Genevieve.

The left bank of the River Seine (Rive Gauche) is not just a part of Paris for the French. It is associated with a creative and rebellious spirit. Since the Middle Ages, writers, artists and philosophers have settled here. The name "Latin Quarter" (Quartier latin) arose due to Latin, which was previously studied by students of the Sorbonne. Later, according to the Parisian model, in several European cities, the areas around universities also began to be called Latin. This happened, for example, in Barcelona and Cologne. Despite the fact that the Paris Latin Quarter is known as the student quarter, the rent in the city has grown so much that only a few of those attending universities can rent housing here.

The eastern part of the district has an Arab face. There is a large Paris mosque and the building of the Institute of the Arab World. And opposite them is the territory of the Botanical Garden.

Many travelers like to visit the narrow Muftar street, in the south of the Latin Quarter. In the days of Ancient Rome, this curved street connected Rome and Lutetia (the name of the settlement on the site of modern Paris). Today, on the square near the Saint-Medard temple, a colorful grocery market is open every day except Monday, where fresh fruits and cheeses are sold. For the sake of this feast of taste, Parisians and tourists come to the Latin Quarter.
Sorbonne and its surroundings
The heart of the Latin Quarter has historically been considered the intellectual center of the country. Here, to the south of the Rue Ecole, are the famous Sorbonne University, the Lyceum of Louis the Great and the College de France educational and research institution.


The Sorbonne has the status of an architectural and historical monument, as well as a world-famous center of science and freedom of thought. If desired, tourists can walk around the courtyard of the university and examine its buildings. The history of the Sorbonne begins in the XII century. In the Middle Ages, it was the most famous educational institution in Europe. The name "Sorbonne" appeared in the middle of the XVI century and came from the name of the famous French theologian Robert de Sorbonne (1201-1274).

The attention of all travelers is attracted by the elegant Baroque facade of the university temple, which is more often called the Sorbonne Chapel. This is the chapel of St. Ursula, built in the 1640s, thanks to the efforts of Cardinal Richelieu. The symmetrical building is crowned with a dome, and the space under it is made in the form of a Greek cross. On all sides the building is decorated with columned porticos and pediments. Inside the chapel you can see the tomb where the mighty Cardinal Richelieu rests.

The Sorbonne Square, free of traffic, and Ecole Street are connected by the colorful Champollion Street. It houses several cinemas and the Cafe Le Refte, popular in the Latin Quarter.

To the east of the Sorbonne, behind the Rue Saint-Jacques, there is the Collège de France, where everyone can get a scientific, literary and artistic education. The educational institution was established during the reign of the French King Francis I (1495-1547), and received its current name in 1870. The college was created so that students from France could study ancient Greek disciplines. The building it occupies is also considered a historical and architectural monument – in 1780 it was built by the famous French architect Jean-Francois Chalgren.

Behind the college stands the building of the Lyceum of Louis the Great (Louis-le-Grand) – one of the oldest and most famous educational institutions in the country. Suffice it to say that Hugo, Moliere, Sartre and Robespierre studied within its walls. Although the lyceum is similar in status to a secondary school, it is a step towards elite education in the Higher Schools of the Grand Ecole. The lyceum is known for a rigid system of certification of graduates. Only one out of ten students copes with the curriculum in full.
Pantheon and Luxembourg Garden
To the south of the College de France rises the decoration of the Latin Quarter and one of the pearls of world classical architecture - the majestic building of the Pantheon. This is the place where many outstanding inhabitants of France are buried - Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Claude Louis Petier, Alexandre Dumas (father), Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, the Curies and others. The pantheon was built under the French monarch Louis XV as the church of Saint Genevieve (1789), and later revolutionaries turned it into a mausoleum.

In 1851, a scientific experiment was conducted in the famous tomb, which amazed not only many ordinary people, but also scientists. Thanks to the French physicist Leon Foucault and the pendulum he created, everyone was able to make sure that the Earth really rotates. Crowds of people came to the Pantheon to see Foucault's experience.

The mausoleum is open to visitors daily: from October to March from 10.00 to 18.00, from April to September from 10.00 to 18.30. Entrance to it is paid.

The wide Souflot Street leads from the Pantheon to the west, to the picturesque Luxembourg Garden. The palace and park ensemble was broken up by Maria de' Medici at the beginning of the XVII century. Nowadays, the former royal residence occupies 26 hectares, and the French Senate holds its meetings in the Luxembourg Palace.

You can walk around the park on foot, on a pony or in old carriages. There is a lot of entertainment here all year round. Visitors like to launch small sailboats in the fountain, as well as listen to concerts that take place in the music pavilion. In the park you can see the miniature theater "Guignol" and an old children's carousel. For fans of outdoor games in the Luxembourg Garden, there are playgrounds for chess, bocce, and the progenitor of tennis – the same-de-pom games.
The eastern part of the Latin Quarter
To the east, near the Botanical Garden is the building of the Grand Mosque of Paris (Grande Mosquee de Paris). It is the largest Muslim temple in France, covering an area of 1 hectare. The mosque was built in 1926 in a colorful Moorish style in memory of 100 thousand adherents of Islam who fought on the side of France and laid down their heads during the First World War. The minaret of the mosque rises to a height of 33 m and is visible from afar. Tourists are allowed to enter the temple, except for the time when services are held here.

Opposite the Paris Mosque on an area of 23.5 hectares is the territory of the Jardin des plantes de Paris, which is part of the National Museum of Natural History. The garden began to form in 1635 as a plantation of medicinal plants. In 1792, a menagerie was opened here, which became one of the first zoos in the world. Today, the zoo occupies about a third of the entire green area and is open daily from 9.00 to 18.00.

The Paris Botanical Garden is very popular, and there are many citizens and tourists in it all year round. Here you can see more than 450 species of trees and shrubs, a luxurious rose garden and large greenhouses. The oldest tree was brought to Paris from the USA and planted in 1636.

The territory of the Plant Garden in the Latin Quarter is open daily: in summer from 7.30 to 19.45, and in winter from 8.00 to 17.30. You can walk along its alleys, as well as explore the Alpine garden, the botanical school and the iris garden for free. You only need to pay for the entrance to greenhouses and museums.
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