The award-winning chronicler of life in Paris reveals the secrets of his home quarter, Saint-Germain-des-Pres
A unique blend of history, memoir, and sightseeing essentials, Saint-Germain-des-Pres is a captivating "narrative guidebook" to one of Paris's iconic quarters by John Baxter, bestselling author of The Most Beautiful Walk in the World.
Occupying less than a square mile along Paris's Left Bank, Saint-Germain-des-Pres, originally an independent village centered around the medieval abbey that lends the quarter its name, has for centuries been home to rebels of all stripes. Within its boundaries, the French Revolution was plotted, the guillotine invented, and in 1968 students revolted and clashed with police. Philosopher Descartes is buried here (sans skull), while Sartre, Camus, and de Beauvoir birthed existentialism around the tables of the legendary Cafe de Flore. Saint-Germain sheltered and inspired such artistic rebels as Picasso, Rimbaud, Hemingway, and scores of jazz musicians. Today, the neighborhood, with its cobblestone streets, iconic cafes, and unique shopping destinations, is one of Paris's premier tourist attractions. And yet it retains its rebel soul—if you know where to look.
In this first book in his "Great Parisian Neighborhoods" series, Baxter, an expat who has called Saint-Germain home for more than two decades, guides readers on an off-the-beaten-path journey through the quarter's history, landmarks, and delights.