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History

The Latin Quarter

Nestled in the heart of the Latin Quarter since 1989, the Abbey Bookshop has designed this list of personal favorites, must-sees, and services so that you can find your way through the historical landmarks and original nooks as you wander its narrow streets to meet serendipity. We hope that, by chance or by design, you will visit our bookshop, aptly located on a street that used to be home to scribes and parchment sellers. For over 25 years we have been perpetuating its tradition with our collection of over 40,000 books, almost all in English-language titles for all tastes. 

The Latin Quarter abounds in historical traces imprinted through the ages. In 52 BC, the Romans conquered the left bank of the Seine, home to a Celtic tribe called the Parisii. You can see vestiges from both civilizations at the Cluny Museum, which is specialized in the Middle Ages. The very name of the neighborhood comes from that period, when Latin was the lingua franca spoken by professors and students who, since the XIIth century, came from all countries to benefit from the prestigious teachings offered the University, of which the Sorbonne is the main institution to this day. Bounded by the River Seine and the XVIIIth century walls of Philippe Auguste, the Latin Quarter also became the center of bookselling and publishing on the Continent. As you stroll our winding streets in the footsteps of Villon, Diderot, Racine, & Co, may you too feel the youthful joy of life and learning. 

the Paris Latin quarter

Gargoyle Statue

MUST SEE

1. Saint-Chappelle

2. Notre Dame

3. House of Abelard and Heloise

4. Beautiful Gothic church: Saint-Séverin

5. Oldest church in Paris: Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre

6. Medieval museum and Roman baths: Cluny

7. College de France

8. Museum of the Police

9. University of the Sorbonne

10. Pantheon

Flower Arrangements

Services

1. Flower Market (every day)

2. Cosy Hotel: Esmeralda

3. Cyber Cafe: Cyber Cube

4. Copy shop: Copy-self

5. French bookshop (new): Librairie Compagnie

6. French bookshop (used): Librairie de Cluny

7. Bookshop, independent publishing & gallery: Pippa

8. Maubert food market (Tues, Thurs, Sat)

9. Police Station 

Wine

local favorites

1. The Great Canadian Pub

2. Local dives: Venus Noire

3. Pizza restaurant: Rim

4. Jazz club/swing dance: Caveau de la Huchette

5. Blues club: Caveau des Oubliettes

6. Meat and cheese fondue: Heureux comme Alexandre

7. Chinese restaurant: Miramar

8. Tea-room/restaurant: Fourmi ailée

9. Local café/restaurant: Stop Cluny

10. Wine bar/bistro: Porte-pot

11. Lebanese/take-away: Au Vieux Cedre du Liban

12. Apfelstrudel, hot chocolate: Patisserie viennoise

13. <Latin> Corner: Mexi & Co/Sol y Luna

14. Salads, veggie pasta: The Watt

15. Summertime dancing on the riverside

16. French cuisine: Coupe-choux