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Secret Paris The Sorbonne District


There is a secret part of Paris in the 5th Arrondissement that many visitors don’t know about…

In the Parisian neighbourhood known as the Sorbonne district, you’ll find some picturesque roads and houses that are reminders of a Paris that existed many years ago.  Take rue Galande (pictured above). There’s been a road here since Roman times but its name comes from the famille Galande, wine makers who were favoured by King Louis VI (1081-1137).

There are records of shops and businesses here since the 13th Century. In and around this road you’ll see some timber framed medieval houses and remains going back several centuries. Just look above the doorway of the cinema at No. 42 and you’ll see a sculpture of Saint Julien the Pauper carved into the stone that dates back to at least 1380.

Odette, featured in the photo is an old boulangerie (no. 77), in a 17th Century building. You’ll find it opposite the Church of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, one of the oldest in Paris, and the Square René Viviani-Montebello home to the oldest tree in Paris, a locust tree planted in 1601.

Just around the corner is the legendary bookshop Shakespeare & company.

The baker, Frederic Berthy, is famous for his little cream puffs and Parisians in the know flock here for the view overlooking Notre Dame from the first floor tea room, and to enjoy the vintage music that adds to the ambience. The video below gives you a little taster of just how pretty the bakery and the rue Galande is!

Photographer: Dawne Polis is an American artist, living in the French countryside. Her work has been published in several books and magazines and is available through McGawGraphics or RedBubble.

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