John Baxter’s Saint-Germain-des-Pres

The Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood is world famous for its connection with artists, writers and intellectuals… and now shopping. For many years this part of Paris has been a stronghold of the “sans culottes,” a refuge to artists and a place for bohemians. Napoleon, Hemingway, and Sartre have all called it home. Descartes is buried there. The writer Oscar Wilde spent his last days in the quarter, at the small, run-down hotel called the Hotel d’Alsace at 13 rue des Beaux‑Arts. The legendary Ecole des Beaux-Arts—attended by such artists as Pierre Bonnard, Edgar Degas and Georges Seurat—is here. And the Place Saint-Germain-des-Pres is where students battled the police in May 1968.

John Baxter’s “Saint-Germain-des-Pres,” a unique blend of history, memoir and sightseeing essentials, takes readers on an  off-the-beaten-path journey through the quarter’s history, landmarks and delights. The book is a fresh look at one of the City of Light’s most iconic quarters and a pleasure for new tourists and Paris veterans alike. It is the first in a series on  “Great Parisian Neighborhoods.”

Saint Germain is located in Paris 6th district around the former Abbey of Saint-Germian-des-Pres. It borders are the Seine on the north, the rue des Saint-Peres on the west and the rue du Four on the south.  Its cobblestone streets and ancient facades survive to this day. Tucked along the shores of the Left Bank, it embodies much of what makes Paris special.

John Baxter is an Australian-born writer, journalist, and film-maker who has made his home in Paris since 1989. His many previous Paris books include “The Most Beautiful Walk in the World” “We’ll Always Have Paris”  and “Paris at the End of the World.”  He has also published numerous filmmaker biographies including books on Federico Fellini, Luis Buñuel, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen and many others.