Musée d’Orsay, Saint-Germain-des-Près | A cultural and intellectual area steeped in history

2057_MUSEEORSAY

A temple of intellectual life and culture in Paris in the 19th century, the area around Saint-Germain-des-Près has retained its elitist image, that of “bourgeois bohemian left bank intellectuals”. Irritating for some, amusing for others, whatever your case, this very chic area is undoubtedly worth a visit and a stroll, with a break from time to time at Café de Flore or at the Luxembourg Gardens for example…

The morning

2057 MUSEEORSAY Musée dOrsay, Saint Germain des Près | A cultural and intellectual area steeped in history
The logical point of departure for this itinerary is a former railway station, Orsay, converted into a museum of 19th century art and civilisation. From Manet to Delacroix and Courbet, not forgetting Rude, Rodin and Carpeaux, the grand masters are on show in this unusual 2,400 m² space  that is atypical and majestic. From upstairs, behind the clock, there is a marvellous view of the Seine.
BOUQUINISTES 4 Musée dOrsay, Saint Germain des Près | A cultural and intellectual area steeped in history
When you leave the Museum, you can choose:

The fun stroll

Cross the road and go down the steps to reach les Berges (the river banks): A stroll that is guaranteed to entertain, especially recommended on fine days: a space for relaxation and play at the water’s edge along the quays running from Musée d’Orsay as far as Pont de l’Alma heading towards the Eiffel Tower.

Or the truly Parisian cultural stroll

When you leave the musuem go back along the Seine to your right: spread over 300 metres you will see the antique dealers of Quai Voltaire. Just next to them is the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) and at number 3 on Quai Voltaire is Sennelier, a seller of fine arts supplies, a Parisian institution since 1888! Further along on Quai Malaquai are the famous booksellers and their “boxes”, presenting almost 300,000 books, both old and new. Keep going as far as the Pont des Arts footbridge, level with the Institut de France,a superb domed monument that is home to the Academie Française.

589 EGLISE SAINT GERMAIN DES PRES Musée dOrsay, Saint Germain des Près | A cultural and intellectual area steeped in history
After this stroll along the Seine, head towards Saint-Germain-des-Près through a maze of little streets and discover the art galleries that they are home to. The art gallery streets are: Rue du Bac, Rue de Beaune, Rue des Saints Pères, Rue Bonaparte, Rue de Seine and Rue Dauphine. You also have Rue de l’Université, Rue de Verneuil, Rue de Lille and Rue Saint André des Arts. For a complete list of galleries in the area, visit the Carré Rive Gauche website, an association that promotes art galleries.

At number 31 on Rue Dauphine is the well-known gallery Kreo, specialising in furniture and design. The contemporary art gallery owner Kamel Mennour has established his headquarters at number 47 on Rue Saint André des Arts.

The area is teeming with art galleries beacause of its proximity to the Musée d’Orsay, but also with many bookshops that testify to the intellectual history of the area. Examples are La Hune at number 16 on Rue de l’Abbaye and l’Ecume des Pages at number 174, boulevard Saint-Germain, which is open until midnight.

Finally, there are also some historic shops in this area. Cire Trudon, a candle shop established in 1643 is at number 78 on Rue de Seine and Zuber wallpapers and Broderies Jean-François Lesage are respectively at numbers 3 and 7 on Rue des Saint Pères. Deyrolles, a shop selling natural curios since 1831 is at 46, Rue du Bac.

The lunch break

4930 LIPP BRASSERIE Musée dOrsay, Saint Germain des Près | A cultural and intellectual area steeped in history
Choose where to take a break for lunch in the heart of Saint-Germain des Prés:
– A snack lunch at La Palette, where the gallery owners meet.
– Or at Café de Flore, where artists like Apollinaire and André Breton hung out in the 19th and 20th centuries. Writers, filmmakers and intellectuals like Sartre and Aragon were also regulars. Just for a moment, take your place among these historical artists and intellectuals. Café de Flore is just across the road and so is the church of Saint-Germain-des-Près, the oldest Roman church in the capital.
– Or what about Brasserie Lipp where the cream of the political, journalistic, literary and artistic worlds gather. A genuine institution with a menu serving traditional French food.

The afternoon

Place de Furstemberg

Don’t miss Place Furstemberg. Is it a street or is it a square? With its four majestic trees and globe street lamp it has charm that is woven out of hardly anything… Here there are fabric shops, prestigious French brands, Arty Dandy, a little concept store selling unusual objects and finally, at number 6, the Delacroix museum: a studio and a delightful garden. This is where the painter Eugène Delacroix spent the last years of his life. He elected to live here, among other reasons, to be close to the Church of Saint-Sulpice where he was carrying out the frescos in the Chapelle des Anges.

Place Saint-Sulpice

Now head back towards place Saint-Sulpice. The church is open for visits. Above all, soak up the the atmosphere in the square: take some time to watch the world go by over a coffee at Café de la Mairie. It’s a nice spot and a very nice Parisian moment.

For the rest of the afternoon, choose between a stroll in the Luxembourg Gardens or a shopping trip to Le Bon Marché.

An afternoon at Luxembourg

Its garden, its museum and its palace… The first is a 23 hectare world of its own within Paris, where practitioners of tai-chi mingle with children playing with sail boats in the fountains. Merry-go-rounds, tennis, basketball and chess are just some of the outdoor activities available here. The majestic Palace was desired by Marie de Médicis, but the Duke of Luxembourg was the first to live in it and lend it his name. There is a museum in one of the wings of the building. It is managed by the French Senate and holds major exhibitions.

Take a tea or coffee break:

– On fine days at the Pavillon de la Fontaine, one of the snack bars in the gardens near the entrance off Place Edmond Rostand, just a stone’s throw from the Médicis fountain. The atmosphere in the shade of the trees is delicious: a small oasis of calm away from the bustle of the city.

– or at Bread and Roses, just at the Rue Guynemer exit from the Luxembourg Gardens. We recommend the brioche made with eggs and fresh butter or trying the taramasalata on seaweed and buckwheat bread. A feast!
Facade exte rieure Le Bon Marche Rive Gauche HD Musée dOrsay, Saint Germain des Près | A cultural and intellectual area steeped in history

An afternoon of shopping around Le Bon Marché.

Fans of shopping are not forgotten because the area is teeming with luxury-style shops.

From Place Saint-Sulpice, head towards Le Bon Marché along Rue Saint-Sulpice.

Fashion designers and furniture design shops are to be found on Rue Saint-Sulpice, Rue de Grenelle, Rue du Cherche-Midi and Rue des Saints-Pères.

En attendant les Barbares, a major design furnisher for the designers Elisabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti is at 35, Rue de Grenelle. Fifi Chachnil, glamourous and sexy luxury lingerie is at 34, Rue de Grenelle, Christian Louboutin at 38-40. Vanessa Bruno at 25, Rue Saint-Sulpice and Carven at number 36.

Next to the mythical Hôtel du Lutetia, Hermès has take over the hotel’s former swimming pool at 17, Rue de Sèvres. The shop space is sublime, but the welcome could be warmer.

Finally, Le Bon Marché and its Grande Epicerie de Paris should not be missed: luxury and refinement are the watch words at this very Parisian address. We always fall for the high quality grocery products at La Grande Epicerie and are blown away by the splendour and refinement of the displays at Le Bon Marché. French art de vivre is very much in evidence here.
In short, shopping French-style is chic and classy under any circumstances – but don’t let your credit card melt!


The addresses on the itinerary

Musée d’Orsay, 1 rue de la Légion-d’Honneur, 7th – Métro: Solférino – Opening times: Tues-Sun from 9.30am to 6pm (Thurs 9.45pm) – Museum entrance: €9 | €6.50 – exhibitions: €12 | €9.50

Les Berges, access from outside Musée d’Orsay – Quai Anatole France, 75007 Paris.

Sennelier, 3 quai Voltaire, 7th – Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés – +33(0)1 42 60 72 15

Galerie Kreo – 31, rue Dauphine, 6th –  Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés – +33(0)1 53 10 23 00

Galerie Kamel Mennour – 47, rue Saint-André des Arts, 6th – Métro: Odéon – +33(0)1 56 24 03 63

Deyrolle – 46, rue du Bac, 7th – + 33 0(1) 42 22 30 07 – Métro: Rue du Bac

La Hune – 16-18, rue de l’Abbaye, 6th – Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés – + 33 0(1) 45 48 35 85

L’Ecume des Pages – 174, bd Saint-Germain, 6th –  Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés – + 33 0(1) 45 48 54 48

Cire Trudon – 78 rue de Seine, 6th – Métro: Odéon – + 33 0(1) 43 26 46 50

Papiers peints Zuber – 3,rue des Saint-Pères, 6th – Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés – + 33 0(1) 42 60 67 01

Jean-François Lesage broderies – 7, rue des Saint-Pères, 6th – Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés – + 33 0(1) 44 50 01 01

Café La Palette – 43 Rue de Seine, 6th – + 33 0(1) 43 26 68 15

Café de Flore, 172 bd Saint-Germain, 6th – Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés – +33(0)1 45 48 55 26 – Opening times: daily from 7am to 2am

Arty Dandy – 1 Rue de Furstemberg, 6th – +33(0)1 43 54 00 36

Musée Delacroix – 6 rue de Furstemberg, 6th – +33(0)1 44 41 86 50 – Opening times: Daily 9.30am – 5pm – Closed on Tuesday

Church of Saint-Germain-de-Près, 3 place Saint-Germain des Prés, 6th – Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés – Opening times: daily from 8am to 7.45pm – Tourist information Tues and Thurs from 2.30pm to 6pm

Brasserie Lipp, 151 bd Saint-Germain, 6th – Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Près – +33 (0)1 45 48 53 91 – Opening times: daily from 9am to 1am

Jardin du Luxembourg, Place Edmond Rostand or place André Honnorat or rue Guynemer or rue de Vaugirard, 6th – Métro: Odéon – Opening times: daily from 8am to sundown (times vary depending on the seasons) – Free entrance

Pavillon de la Fontaine – Snack bar beside the Médicis fountain– near the entrance at Place Edmond Rostand

Palais du Luxembourg, 15 rue de Vaugirard, 6th – Métro: Odéon, Mabillon or Saint-Sulpice – +33 (0)1 42 34 20 00 – Group visits by appointment only on Mon, Fri and Sat

Musée du Luxembourg, 19 rue de Vaugirard, 6th – Métro: Saint-Sulpice ou Mabillon – Opening times: daily from 10am to 7.30pm (10pm Mon and Fri) – Pricing: €11 | €7.50 (reduced)

Bread & Roses, 62 rue Madame, 6th – Métro: Notre-Dame-des-Champs – +33 (0)1 42 22 06 06 – Opening times: Mon – Sat from 8am to 7.30pm

La Grande épicerie de Paris, 38 rue de Sèvres, 7th – Métro: Sèvres-Babylone – Opening times: Mon – Sat from 8.30am to 9pm

Le Bon Marché, 24 rue de Sèvres, 7th – Métro: Sèvres-Babylone – +33 (0)1 44 39 80 00 – Opening times: Mon – Sat from 10am to 8pm (Thurs and Fri: 9pm)

Christian Louboutin, 38-40 rue de Grenelle, 7th – Métro: Rue du Bac – +33 (0)1 42 22 33 07 – Opening times: Mon – Sat from 10.30am to 7pm

Fifi Chachnil, 34, rue de Grenelle, 7th – Métro: Rue du Bac – +33 (0)1 42 22 08 23 – Opening times: Mon – Sat 11am – 7pm

Carven, 36 rue Saint-Sulpice, 6th – Métro: Saint-Sulpice – +33 (0)9 60 45 47 04

Vanessa Bruno 25 rue Saint-Sulpice, 6th – Métro: Saint-Sulpice

Hermès, 17 rue de Sèvres, 6th – Métro: Sèvres-Babylone – +33 (0)1 42 22 80 83 – Opening times: Mon – Sat from 10.30am to 7pm

 


Source images Paris-is-beautiful.com / Happiness as an Art de Vivre :

2057_MUSEEORSAY   Source : Shutterstock – Libre de droits / BOUQUINISTES-4 Source : Anna Kesz / 589_EGLISESAINTGERMAINDESPRES   Source : Shutterstock -Llibre de droits / 4930-LIPP-BRASSERIE   Source : Lipp / 11D_JARDINDULuxembourg   Palais du Luxembourg – Source : Shutterstock – Libre de droits / Facade-exte-rieure-Le-Bon-Marche-Rive-Gauche Source : Le Bon Marché

twitter Musée dOrsay, Saint Germain des Près | A cultural and intellectual area steeped in historypinterest Musée dOrsay, Saint Germain des Près | A cultural and intellectual area steeped in historyfacebook Musée dOrsay, Saint Germain des Près | A cultural and intellectual area steeped in historygoogle Musée dOrsay, Saint Germain des Près | A cultural and intellectual area steeped in history

Itineraries by area

Your Comments

© 2013 paris-is-beautiful.com, All right reserved en