The place Saint Michel of Paris!!!

This was an introductory post on one of Paris most emblematic squares. It is my hangout of lately when in Paris before the virus. As have written several posts on it will do this one in my black and white series. The place Saint Michel of Paris!!

So here I am again on my eternal Paris, never enough, I just have to give a break sometimes ,it is too overwhelming. I enjoyed very much my time living in Versailles and working in Paris, can’t have a better one two punch than that in the whole world!!! Now , I am in beautiful Morbihan near the coast surrounded by country towns and the beaches and castles of my lovely Bretagne! All is irrelevant, France is a mouvable feast!

The Place Saint-Michel is located in the Sorbonne and the Monnaie neighborhoods of the 5éme and 6éme districts of Paris . It owes its name to the proximity of the Pont Saint-Michel (bridge), which was located in the vicinity of the Chapel Saint-Michel du Palais. It lies on the left bank of the Seine river facing the Ïle de la Cité, to which it is linked by the Pont Saint-Michel. There is a version that says the square was name in honor of Michèle de France, daughter of King Charles VI in the 14C.

The square was created during the breakthrough of Boulevard Saint-Michel, in 1855 under Napoleon III. The piercing of this square endangers the disappearance of the Place du Pont-Saint-Michel, part of the rue Saint-André-des-Arts, part of the rue de l’Hirondelle and part of the quai des Grands Augustins. The Pont Saint-Michel built in the 1C was done at the same time as the square. It officially takes its name in 1864.

The monumental fountain was created in 1860. it was though of a statue of Napoléon but finally, it was a statue of Saint Michael battling the devil that was chosen, framed by two water-spitting dragons. The symbol here is the Fontaine Saint-Michel is a fountain located in the 6éme arrondissement or district of Paris on the Place Saint-Michel square, at the crossroads of Boulevard Saint-Michel and Rue Danton. It has the peculiarity of occupying on its own a whole gable wall.

The composition with a central niche framed by four columns and a pediment is a reference to the Medici fountain of the Luxembourg garden. The purpose of the polychromy is to balance the lack of illumination. This fountain, whose construction site began in June 1858, was inaugurated on 15 August 1860. Nine sculptors contributed to the fountain. The Fontaine Saint-Michel differs from other Parisian fountains by the use of polychromy: Red marble of Languedoc (columns), green marble, blue stone of Soignies, yellow limestone of Saint-Yllie .

The Fontaine Saint-Michel is part of the aeration plan of the city planned by Haussmann under Napoleon III. The piercing of Boulevard Saint-Michel in the axis of Sainte-Chapelle forced the creation of a square at the outlet of the Pont Saint-Michel, Haussmann ordered the establishment of this fountain in order to fill the angle between the Boulevard Saint-Michel and the place Saint-André-des-Arts and give a visual outlet to the perspective of the Boulevard du Palais. It is 26 meters high and 15 meters wide. It is composed in the manner of an ancient arc of triumph, of a span mark by Corinthian columns in red marble of the Languedoc cushioned by four bronze statues representing the cardinal virtues.

The criticism was overall negative at the inauguration of the fountain in 1860.   In fact, the fountain Saint-Michel is the last fountain-wall built in Paris in the Renaissance tradition started by the Medici fountain in the 17C and pursued in the 18C with the Fountain of the Four seasons. The monumental fountains after the Saint-Michel fountain are isolated in squares.

Place Saint-Michel is served by the metro at Saint-Michel Station, line 4, by the RER C at Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame station (that can take you to Versailles), as well as by the RATP bus lines 21 24 27 38 85 ,and 96. The easiest parking is at the Place du parvis Notre Dame and walked over the bridge. There is ,also, a taxi stand Place Saint Michel direct tel +33 (0) 1 43 29 63 66.

The heart of St. Michel neighborhood or quartier is still the Place St. Michel with its baroque fountain Saint Michel killing a demon of some sort. This was once the site of numerous protests and social uprisings. One of the main events of French resistance to the occupying Nazis took place in the square, and in the now legendary riots of 1968, students took charge of the square in the face of tear gas and police clubs, declaring it an independent state!

The Paris tourist office on the fountain of St Michel: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73150/Fontaine-Saint-Michel

The nice Place Saint Andre des Arts adjoins the Place Saint-Michel on the 6éme arrondissement. It is a charming place, lined with coffee terraces , and souvenir shops. On the other side, you cannot miss a small cobbled street, most often crowded with tourists. It’s the rue de la Huchette. You enter the most typical Latin quarter with a slab of alleys, restaurants and cobblestones. The street is lively: restaurants, pubs or theater, activities are not lacking.

My favorite hangout here to meet with friends and collegues is the Saint Severin brasserie, the old Chez Clement resto now closed and even more lately the Le Clou de Paris.

And there you go folks, a nice part or should say a gorgeous part of my eternal Paris. Hope you have enjoy it and do visit, walking is best here.

And of course, remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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